I used to have awesome abs. When I was younger, even in my first few years of college, I had a totally flat, toned stomach. My secret? Absolutely nothing. Sometimes doing like 10 crunches made me look too toned. What. the. hell. happened?! If you’re in your 20s and you’ve realized your abs department just ain’t what it used to be, here’s how to reel that 6-pack back in.
These are my favorite exercises from a few different articles, and the example photos are thanks to the amaze Women’s Health mag!
The Oblique Roller
Plank position is key for abs workouts. So, you want to be in the plank position with your legs hip-width apart on a stability ball, hands shoulder-width on the floor. Make sure that your back is straight, and that your tush isn’t up in the air or sinking under you. Move your knees toward your right shoulder, then center, then to your left shoulder. Repeat this about 15 times.
The Extreme Crunch
This is not your mother’s crunch. First, you need a pair of 10 pound weights for this one. If you don’t have any, grab something similar with a little weight to it, like water bottles or jars. Lie on your back with your arms (holdng the weights) behind you and extend your legs about 40 degrees off the ground. Bring your arms up and lift your shoulders off the ground (like a crunch), all while raising your legs straight up. Bring both back down, but remember not to let your legs touch the floor! Repeat this about 20 times, never letting those legs touch the floor.
The Side Plank
As I said, the plank position is key. In this variation, lie on your side with your legs straight and stacked on top of each other. Make sure your weight is distributed between your forearm and the side of your foot on the floor, and that your elbow is directly below your shoulder. With this move, the most important part is that your body is aligned, so make sure your shoulders are down and you’re in a straight line. Hold for 45-60 seconds and switch sides. Repeat this about 3 times.
If that doesn’t do it for you or you want more of a challenge, you can try to tuck your knee. Life your lower leg and bend that knee to bring the foot next to the inside of your other knee. Hold for 45-60 seconds and switch sides. Repeat about 3 times.
Bring back the stability ball and place your hands on it a little wider than shoulder width. Extend your legs behind you (like you’re about to do a push up). Make sure your back is straight and your butt isn’t in the air or your lower back isn’t dipping. Lift one foot off the floor and bring it in toward your chest slowly. Back it back to the floor and repeat with the other foot. Repeat about 15-20 times.
The Tough Plank
Plank again! This time, both forearms belong on the floor with a flat back. Relax your shoulders and keep your elbows directly below them. Engage your abs and lift one foot off the floor. Hold that position for 60 seconds. Switch legs and repeat 4 times.