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The 14 Best Ab Exercises from Barry's Bootcamp Trainers

  • Peter Ardito

    Allie Cohen: Side Bend-Slide

    Targets obliques

    • Hold a light weight above your head.
    • Look up at the weight as you slide down the opposite leg.
    • Return to the start and repeat until fatigue.
  • Peter Ardito

    Amber Rees: Oblique Twist

    Targets obliques and lower abs

    • Stand with feet hip distance apart and squat while holding a medicine ball or a heavy weight in front of your chest.
    • Keeping elbows out and lifted, stand up straight and twist your right elbow to your left knee, bringing left knee up to your chest.
    • Repeat and bring opposite elbow to opposite knee, twisting your entire upper body.
  • Peter Ardito

    Astrid Swan McGuire: Side Plank to Elbow Touch

    Targets upper abs, lower abs, and obliques

    • Starting in a side plank position on your hand or on your elbow, stack your feet and make sure your body is in one straight line from the top of your head to your heels, hips lifted.
    • Place your free hand gently behind your head, bending at the elbow.
    • Maintaining your side plank form, bend your top leg and bring the knee towards your elbow on the same side, crunching your side abs.
    • Repeat for 30 seconds before rotating to the other side.
  • Peter Ardito

    Chris Tye Walker: Weighted Jackknife to Bent Knees Toe-Touch

    Targets lower abs

    • Start on your back with legs in table top position.
    • Extend arms and legs simultaneously (top image).
    • Lifting your shoulders and bending your knees at a 90-degree angle, reach the weight to your toes.
  • Peter Ardito

    Kenneth Ferrer: Knee to Opposite Elbow

    Targets upper abs, lower abs, and obliques

    • Start in high plank position.
    • Bend right knee, drop right hip and bring knee to your left elbow, keeping your hip and leg hovering off the ground.
    • Hold for three seconds.
    • Continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
  • Peter Ardito

    Matt Nolan: Bear Crawl Mountain Climber

    Targets lower abs

    • Get on all fours with a flat back.
    • Lift knees so they hover off the ground and hold.
    • Bring the right knee to right elbow and quickly switch to the other side, alternating for 60 seconds.
  • Peter Ardito

    Matty Maggiacomo: Core Dribble

    Targets lower abs

    • Balance on your tailbone and extend legs out straight, knees slightly bent.
    • Using a light weight, cross ball under one leg and pass to other hand.
    • Continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides, all while balancing on tailbone.
  • Peter Ardito

    Mike Espinosa: V Hold to Toe Touch

    Targets lower abs

    • Balance on tailbone extend legs straight in front of you.
    • Bring arms out to sides in a "V" shape, maintaining balance, and hold for 5 seconds.
    • Touch arm to opposite toe, alternating sides.
  • Peter Ardito

    Natalie Raitano: Knee Hover to Standing Split

    Targets upper abs and lower abs

    • In high plank position, bring right knee to touch right elbow, hold for 3 seconds.
    • Shifting hips back, thrust right leg straight above your hips.
    • Hold for 3 seconds.
    • Continue this flow for 30 seconds, then switch to other side.
  • Peter Ardito

    Patrick Frost: Weight Side Bend

    Targets obliques

    • Stand with knees slightly bent and hold a medium sized weight (8 -10 lbs).
    • With right hand on hip, bring left arm over your head as you bend and crunch to the right side.
    • Bring arm down in a controlled motion with a bent arm and crunch to the left.
  • Peter Ardito

    Rebecca Kennedy: Wood Chopper

    Targets upper abs, lower abs, and obliques

    • Using medicine ball or one heavy weight, start with feet hip width apart, descend into squat with weight at chest level.
    • Press up overhead.
    • Thrust ball/weight down with force to the right.
    • Do two sets of 30 seconds each side
  • Peter Ardito

    Derek DeGrazio: Sweeping Planks

    Targets core, shoulders, and arms

    • Start in low plank position.
    • Lift your left leg off of the floor about 10 inches, keeping a flat back. Hold for 15 seconds.
    • Place leg down and hold a regular plank for 15 seconds.
    • Keep switching legs for 60 seconds; do 3 sets.
  • Peter Ardito

    Sam Karl: The Hollow Rock

    Targets entire core

    • Lift your legs off the ground and hug your elbows to your eyes. (Your body should be shaped like a banana.)
    • Rock forward and back on your lower back for 30 seconds.
  • Peter Ardito

    Rachel Robinson: The Running Man Bicycle

    Targets entire core

    • Lay down on your back, arms straight with fingers pointing towards feet, palms down.
    • Lift shoulders off the ground and quickly hit your elbow to opposite knee.
    • Alternate sides for 30 seconds.


Kiera Carter

Kiera Carter is the executive web editor of FITNESS and SHAPE. She's also a New York University alum, Brooklyn resident, and half marathon lover.  More →

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