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Best Ab Exercises from Around the World
How It Works
To summer-ize your waistline in record time, take this around-the-globe tour of the top tummy toners. Do two sets of each move, completing all 10 in any order to target your abs from every angle. (Or pick a few to add middle-whittling power to your regular routine.) All you'll need is a single two-pound dumbbell and a resistance band — and a credit card for that dream bikini you'll be wearing all summer!
Trainer: Anna-Rita Sloss, creator of the Hot Hula class at 24 Hour Fitness
Targets: Ab and obliques
- Stand with feet close, right hand on hip, left arm raised so bent elbow is near shoulder level in front of you.
- Contract abs as you trace a box with hips: Softly bend right knee and lift right heel as you jut right hip forward (pelvis tips up).
Trainer: Paul Frediani, author of PowerSculpt for Women
Targets: Shoulders, abs, and obliques
- Sit on floor with knees bent and feet flat, holding ends of resistance band (or a towel) with both hands in front of chest, arms extended and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lean torso back 45 degrees and lift bent legs until shins are parallel to floor.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Keep feet on floor.
Trainer: Leandro Carvalho, creator of Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City
Targets: Abs, obliques, butt, and legs
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, elbows bent by sides, right fist in front of chest, left fist near left hip. Lift bent left knee toward chest.
Trainer: Leandro Carvalho
Targets: Abs and obliques
- Lie on back with arms out to sides slightly below shoulder level, palms down and legs extended toward ceiling, feet together.
- Tighten abs and slowly lower legs together toward right as far as you can.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Lower legs so right toes touch floor.
Flying Side Crunch
Trainer: Viveca Jensen, creator of Piloxing and owner of V Pilates studio in Los Angeles
Targets: Abs, obliques, and butt
- Standing on right leg, knee slightly bent, extend left leg out to side, toes touching floor.
- Tighten abs and hinge forward at hips 45 degrees, back flat, then extend arms out to sides at shoulder level, palms down (like an airplane).
Trainer: Paul Frediani
Targets: Upper back, shoulders, triceps, abs, and obliques
- Tie one end of resistance band to a secure post 2 feet overhead. (Or attach it to a doorknob and perform move kneeling on floor.)
- Facing post, stand tall with feet hip-width apart and grasp other end of band in left hand, right hand on top. Step backward until band has no slack and hands are at eye level.
Trainer: Melanie Rojas-Guzman, certified Zumba education specialist
Targets: Abs, obliques, butt, and legs
- Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out 45 degrees, and hold one end of a single dumbbell in each hand, arms extended in front of chest so weight is parallel to floor. (Use a dumbbell no heavier than 2 pounds or no weight.)
- Lower into a plie squat, abs tight.
Trainer: Dara Torres, Olympic swimming star and author of the new workout book Gold Medal Fitness
Targets: Shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, and quads
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a single dumbbell with both hands in front of hips.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Do move while seated.
- Squat, bringing dumbbell by outside of right hip.
Trainer: World-class Australian surfer Kim Wooldridge
Targets: Shoulders, triceps, abs, obliques, butt, and legs
- Lie facedown on floor with hands under shoulders, palms flat.
- Tuck toes under and press through palms as you straighten arms into full push-up position.
Trainer: Beach-volleyball pro Angie Akers
Targets: Back, shoulders, triceps, and abs
- Lie faceup on floor with knees bent, feet flat, holding a single dumbbell with both hands so that arms are extended directly behind head.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Do move without dumbbell or have a partner hold your feet.
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