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Best Ab Exercises from Around the World

  • Jay Sullivan

    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!

  • Jay Sullivan


    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).
  • Jay Sullivan


    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.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Pisao Kick

    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.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Windshield Wiper

    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.
  • Jay Sullivan

    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).
  • Jay Sullivan

    Ax Chop

    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.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Torso Tightener

    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.


  • Jay Sullivan

    Freestyle Rainbow

    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.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Pop Up

    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.
  • Jay Sullivan


    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.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Belly Dance Playlist