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Get Flat Abs Fast (at Any Fitness Level)

  • Jay Sullivan

    Beginner: V-Sit Pull-Back

    What you'll need: A mat

    Tip: Keep your neck relaxed while you crunch. Need help? Simply place your tongue on the roof of your mouth!

    Targets: Abs and obliques

    • Sit with knees bent, legs together, arms at shoulder level in front of you.
    • Engage abs and lean back slightly.
    • Rotate torso to right and pull elbow back to tap mat.
    • Return to start. Switch sides; repeat.
    • Do 20 reps total, alternating sides.
     
  • Jay Sullivan

    Beginner: Plank-Up

    Targets: Abs, back, hips, and glutes

    • Get into plank position (abs engaged, back straight, forearms on floor, legs extended).
    • Lift hips toward ceiling, keeping back and legs straight, abs engaged; hold for 2 counts.
    • Lower to plank.
    • Do 10 reps.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Beginner: Wipe-Away

    Targets: Abs, obliques, and hips

    • Lie faceup with arms out to sides at shoulder level, legs together, abs engaged.
    • Lift legs straight over hips.
    • Keeping upper body on mat, slowly lower legs 45 degrees to right.
    • Lift legs back over hips.
    • Repeat to left. Do 10 reps total, alternating sides.
     
  • Jay Sullivan

    Intermediate: Kneeling Heel Twist

    Targets: Abs and obliques

    • Kneel on mat with hips above knees, abs engaged.
    • Place hands behind head, elbows out.
    • Keeping hips centered, rotate torso to right and reach right hand toward right ankle.
    • Return to start; repeat to left side.
    • Do 12 reps total, alternating sides.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Intermediate: Plank Swipe

    Targets: Abs, obliques, back, hips, and glutes

    • Get into plank position and stack left foot on top of right heel.
    • Keeping back and legs straight and abs engaged, lift left foot slightly, then kick left leg out to side.
    • Return to stacked position. Do 6 reps.
    • Switch legs; repeat.
     
  • Jay Sullivan

    Intermediate: Air Circle

    Targets: Abs, obliques, and hips

    • Lie faceup with legs together, arms extended straight up, abs engaged.
    • Keeping upper body on mat, lift legs straight over hips.
    • Draw a big circle on ceiling with legs.
    • Change directions; repeat.
    • Do 12 reps total, alternating directions.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Advanced: Scissors Pull-Back

    Targets: Abs, obliques, and legs

    • Start in V-sit, feet lifted, shins parallel to floor.
    • Extend left leg as you rotate to right; tap elbow to mat.
    • Return to start. Switch sides; repeat.
    • Do 16 reps total, alternating sides.
     
  • Jay Sullivan

    Advanced: Plank Walk-Up

    Targets: Arms, abs, back, and glutes

    • Get into plank position.
    • Keeping back straight, abs engaged, and legs together, "walk" hands into full push-up position (hands directly under shoulders, elbows slightly bent).
    • Gently walk hands back down to plank.
    • Do 5 reps without lowering to floor.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Advanced: Side Scissors Crunch

    Targets: Abs, hips, and legs

    • Lie faceup with legs together, arms overhead.
    • Engage abs and lift legs straight over hips.
    • Crunch up as you lower legs out to sides and reach hands through legs.
    • Lower upper body and bring legs back together.
    • Do 15 reps.

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2009.

     
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