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The Best Bodyweight Abs Exercises

abs exercises
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You don't need an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment to have toned abs. In fact you can sculpt yourself a six-pack using these bodyweight abs exercises that don't require any kit and can be done anywhere. 

From planks to crunches and everything in between, these simple beginner and intermediate abs exercises below will fire up your core and tighten up your abs.

Beginner Abs Exercises

Plank

Plank

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  • Ensure your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels
  • Hold the position for as long as you can

Crunch

Crunch

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  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
  • Curl your shoulders off the floor, keeping your lower back in contact with the mat
  • Pause at the top and lower slowly to the start

Reverse crunch

Reverse crunch

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  • Start with your thighs vertical and knees bent at 90°
  • Lift your hips off the floor and curl your knees towards your chest
  • Pause at the top and lower slowly to the start 

Lying criss-cross

Lying criss-cross

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  • Place your hands under your bum for stability
  • Hold your feet a few inches off the floor with straight legs
  • Cross your feet over and under for as long as you can manage

Crossover crunch

Crossover twist crunch

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  • Place one foot on the opposite knee
  • Curl your shoulders off the floor and twist your body so your elbow touches the opposite knee
  • Pause at the top and lower slowly – repeat on the opposite side

Side plank

Side plank

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  • Make sure your elbow is directly beneath your shoulder
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to feet
  • Hold the position for as long as you can

Intermediate Abs Exercises

Legs up crunch

Abs exercises

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  • Lie on your back
  • Keep your thighs vertical and your knees bent at 90°
  • Curl your shoulders off the floor
  • Pause at the top and lower slowly to the start 

Two-point box

Two-point box

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  • Start on all fours
  • Raise the opposite arm and leg straight out
  • Pause at the top, lower slowly to the start and repeat on the other side 

Leg lower

Leg lower

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  • Start with your legs pointing straight up
  • Place your hands under your bum for support
  • Lower your legs slowly to just above the floor and return to the start

Hip raise

Hip raise

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  • Start with your legs pointing straight up
  • Lift your hips off the floor and push your feet towards the ceiling
  • Hold for a second and lower slowly to the start 

Side crunch

Side crunch

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  • Lie on your side with your upper hand touching your temple
  • Curl your torso upwards as far as you can
  • Pause at the top and lower slowly to the start

Single leg over

Single leg over

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  • Start with one leg pointing straight up
  • Place your hands on the floor either side of you for support
  • Rotate your lower body until your foot is just above the floor, then return

More Of The Best Abs Exercises

Joe Warner
Joe Warner

Joe Warner worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach, from 2008 to 2013, then returned as editor of Men’s Fitness UK from 2016 to 2019.