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By: Grace Gavilanes

You’ve mastered leg workouts and now it’s time for the next challenge: Strengthening your core! We enlisted the help of certified personal trainer Shannon Flanagan to dream up a circuit ab workout that will keep your body guessing.

“No matter how many crunches you do, know these two things: Abs are made in the kitchen and you cannot spot train,” Flanagan tells Lively, citing the importance of proper nutrition.

And when it comes to hitting the gym to get stronger, Flanagan recommends treating the abs like any other muscle group. It's important not to overdo it. “Are people doing squats and pull-ups for 30 minutes straight? Nope,” she says. “You should not do 30 minutes of crunches. The abs need proper rest just like everything else.”

These three short workout circuits will lead to a stronger core. Try them out and follow up your sweat session with a Collagen Water.

But first, check out our fitness glossary for a mini refresher on less-known workouts before giving these circuits a go.

RELATED: Stronger Than Ever: Lively's 30-Day Leg Challenge

Your Fitness Glossary

Hanging Knee Tucks

Start by hanging on a pull-up bar with palms facing out. Pull your abs to your spine as you raise your knees to your chest. And repeat. 

Hollow Hold

Lie down on your back and pulling your belly button towards the floor. Your arms and legs should be held straight out with your hands and toes pointed. Slowly raise your shoulders and legs from the ground. 

Russian Twists

Sitting on the floor, keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold one dumbbell with both hands in front of you. Keeping your spine long and abs tight, slightly lean back and lift your feet a few inches off the floor. Slowly twist your torso from left to right, bringing the weight with you.

Slider Knee Tucks

You’ll need sliders for this move. Starting from a high-plank position with both feet on sliders, keep your abs tight and bring your feet toward your chest. Return to the starting position. Repeat. 

Star Reach

Standing up, keep your legs together and arms at your sides. Balance on one foot and bring your opposite leg and arms up to your side. Repeat with the other leg.

TRX Rows

Shorten the TRX straps all the way up. Set your body in a straight line and walk your feet forward until there is tension in the straps. Pull the straps to your chest. Make sure your palms face each other throughout the exercise. Repeat. 

V-Ups

Lying down on your back, keep your legs straight and your arms overhead (parallel to your head). Then bring your arms and legs up together. Repeat.

Wall Walks

Placing your feet against the wall, begin in a push-up position. Then walk your feet up the wall, using your hands to help. Walk your feet down and return to the starting position. Repeat. 

ab workout challenge

Your Ab Workout Challenge

Ab Workout: Circuit 1

30-45 seconds Forearm Plank

20 Russian Twists

10-20 Push Ups 

20 Star Reaches

10-20 TRX Rows

Repeat 3-5 times 

Ab Workout: Circuit 2

20-30 seconds Side Plank each side

10-20 Decline Push-ups

30-45-second Hollow Hold

10-20 Slider Knee Tucks

20 Russian Twists

5-15 Hanging Knee Tucks or Toes to Bar

Repeat 3-5 times

Ab Workout: Circuit 3

5 Inch Worms or 2 Wall Walks

20 Russian Twists

10-20 Push-ups

10-20 V-Ups

30 Slow Mountain Climbers

30-45 seconds Hollow Hold

Repeat 3-5 times