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The High-Rep Home Abs Workout

Woman performs Russian twist as part of an abs workout at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Doing hundreds of sit-ups per day isn’t going to get you a tight set of abs, and anyone who thinks so is wasting their precious training time. You’ll get phenomenally strong hip flexors, but not sculpted abs.

The best abs workouts involve hitting your core with some high-rep sets and that’s what this home abs workout does. It’s a fantastic way to shock these stubborn muscles into greater definition.

Home Abs Workout

This session is made up of six moves, split into three supersets – which means you do two exercises back to back with little or no rest between them. That means you complete all the reps of move 1A then the same for 1B, only resting after all the reps of the second move. You’ll do three supersets of moves 1A and 1B then repeat this approach with moves 2A and 2B, and with 3A and 3B.

In the first superset the moves work your upper abs, then your side abs. The second superset hits your lower abs, then side abs, and the final superset primarily targets your side abs. Do this home abs workout once a week for a month and you’ll see your abs become stronger and more sculpted.

The workout requires a dumbbell. If you don’t have one, use our recommendations of the best dumbbells to find one which suits your budget, or go the DIY route and rustle up a makeshift free weight – anything from a tin of beans to a brick works.

To sculpt hard abs faster, engage your entire core region before you begin the first rep of each set. Starting with these target muscles fully activated means you’ll maintain better form during the set and work your abs harder.

1A Dumbbell crunch reach

Dumbbell crunch reach

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 0sec

Targets: upper abs

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and a dumbbell held above your chest with arms straight. Crunch upwards, raising the weight as high as you can. Pause at the top of the movement, squeeze your abs, then lower back to the start.

1B Seated dumbbell Russian twist

Seated dumbbell Russian twist

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 2min

Targets: side abs

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet slightly raised, holding a dumbbell in front of you secured in both hands. Keeping your feet off the floor, twist to one side, pause, and then twist to the other. That’s one rep.

2A Straight leg raise

Straight leg raise

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 0sec

Targets: lower abs

Lie flat on your back with your legs straight. Engage your abs and keeping your legs straight, raise your feet as high as you can, then slowly lower them again. Make it harder by not letting your feet touch the floor between reps.

2B Straight-leg side twist

Straight-leg side twist

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 2min

Targets: side abs

From the top position of the previous move, keep your legs together and slowly lower your feet down to one side, then back up and over to the other. That’s one rep. Keep each rep smooth and controlled.

3A Standing dumbbell Russian twist

Standing dumbbell Russian twist

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 0sec

Targets: side abs

Stand tall with your arms out in front of you holding a dumbbell. Keeping your hips forwards, rotate your hands to one side and then back across to the other. Keep the reps smooth and your arms parallel to the floor.

3B Dumbbell side bend

Dumbbell side bend

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 3 Reps 15 each side Rest 2min

Targets: side abs

Hold a dumbbell in one hand and bend your torso down towards your weighted hand, then straighten back up and lean slightly away to the other side. Keep your movement side-to-side only; don’t lean forwards or backwards.


More Abs Workouts And Exercises

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.