Can you believe it’s already May? It’s that time of the year where we start prepping our Summer bodies! Many of us want to tone our abs or simply lose a few pounds. At the gym, I see girls doing crunches and sit-ups, but they never see results because those are not the most effective exercises for overall abdominal toning. You’ve probably heard of the phrase “You can’t spot-reduce, you can only spot-tone?” Well, crunches and sit-ups put focus on the front and sides of your abs but they help build muscles in those areas only. They won’t help you look skinnier since you still have the layer of fat covering your sought after waistline. It’s crucial to target all the muscles of the core along with other body parts for effective fat burning. Here are 5 moves that will help you achieve killer abs:

  1. Plank


I love this move. It’s my go-to during every gym session. Not only will it tone your abs, it will also work out your butt, thighs and arms. The plank helps train muscles to stabilize the spine and pelvis so you can avoid back pain and improve posture. It also burns more calories than crunches because it works more muscles.

Lie face down resting on your forearms and palms flat on the floor. Raise your body up, keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Try holding this position for 1 minute, then rest. Repeat for 2 more sets.

  1. Mountain Climbers

Moutain climbers

This is one of the best moves to strengthen your entire core. Like the plank, this move will benefit your arms, legs and booty.

Get down in push-up position and make sure your body stays parallel to the ground. Start moving one leg at a time towards your corresponding arm and move in intervals. Climb slowly for 30 seconds and emphasize the movement, then go as fast as you can while maintaining proper form for another 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

  1. Burpees


I know this is your least favorite exercise… It can be quite brutal, but it gives you serious results. Burpees work out your abs, arms, chest and legs. It’s the ultimate full-body exercise. So the next time you’re at the gym, don’t slack on your burpees.

Start from a squat position with your arms in front of you. Push your legs back into a push-up stance, and immediately come back up into a squat. Then jump up high and land back down into squat, and repeat. Do as many as you can in 1 minute, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat for 2 more sets.

  1. Sliding Crunches

Slide Crunch

I’d actually never done this move until a few months ago when I encountered it in a bootcamp class at New York Sports Club. Boy, let’s just say I was hooked! This move not only took strength and core muscles, but it tested my patience with my own body. So if you get frustrated, don’t give up! This move is best done on hardwood floors or any surface that you can easily slide on with a towel.

Get in push-up position with the towel underneath your feet. Start dragging the towel all the way towards your chin then push back out. You can also add side twists after you’ve mastered the original. Do as many as you can in 1 minute, repeat 2 more times.

  1. Leg Raises

Leg raise

This is on every trainer’s top list of ab workouts. Leg raises concentrate on the lower abdominal (yes, that little pouch you see when you’re wearing a tight dress), and hip flexors.

Place your hands under your glutes with your palms facing down. Keep your legs as straight as possible. Then raise your legs slowly until they’re perpendicular to the floor. Hold at the top for a second, then slowly lower your legs back to the start position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps. You can add a dumbbell between your feet for added resistance.

Good luck and I can’t wait to see your fabulous Summer bodies! What are your go-to ab moves?

66 Comments on 5 Effective Moves For Amazing Abs

  1. “Leg raises concentrate on the lower abdominal”. Leg raises are not an ab workout. There is no such a thing as a “lower abdominal” it’s one long muscle. You cannot target the lower abs.

    • Hi Tommy. Thanks for your feedback! Leg raises is a hip flexor exercise that also targets the rectus abdominus, which is the major muscle in your stomach and your obliques. When doing a leg raise, that particular muscle contract to stabilize your pelvis and hips. I have mentioned in the opening that you cannot target one particular muscle and your best bet is to exercise multiple muscles at once (which all 5 movements here does.)

      • Hi Aimee! Ok I see what you are saying. The main muscle that is being worked is the Psoas and the abs work as a stabilizer. My issue is that, none of these exercises will get you that flat stomach. They may strengthen the muscle but the only way to get rid of the layer of fat that is covering the abs is cardio and watching your calorie intake. Also, I would not recommend the leg raises for anyone that sits all day at work or school. Your muscles in your hips are already overworked from the sitting position. Working them out with an exercise like leg raises is asking for injury. Oh and to me, situps are also not really an ab workout. They are basically reverse leg raises (if that makes sense) so they also overwork your hip muscles / lower back. One more quick thing… I highly recommend this book: you can get it from amazon as well. There is a great deal information on exercise and diet. It really goes into detail about all the miss information and myth of the exercise and diet world.

        • I definitely agree about the cardio and eating healthy. I’m also a huge believer in lifting heavy. I think that’s a better solution to fat loss than even cardio, in terms of exercising. And thanks for the book recommendation! 🙂

  2. “…they never see results because those are not the most effective exercises for overall abdominal toning..” Feel like most people just lack aerobic exercise and proper dieting, because crunches/situps are very effective. As for the actual moves you presented, I am glad you included the very much overlooked Mountain climbers and burpees!

    • Alex, you’re so right. Dieting and cardio are definitely needed for overall body enhancement. And just personally, I feel like most people lack proper form when doing crunches and situps which does more harm than good (neck cramps, ouch!). And like I said, these 5 movements utilize more than just the abdominal muscles which I feel is more effective as a whole. I hate burpees but I never slack on them. 🙂

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  4. hey ive been starting to work out reenctly and ive been trying to switch it up, biking, (20-40 miles a week) swimming(1hr of moderate freestyle) walking (2.5 miles 3times a week) high intense cardio workout for 25 minutes and its been 15 days and i only lost 6 pounds im 5’6 and was 136 but now i am 130 and i would like to get down to 125-120 i am changing the way i eat alot protein and veggies! i wanna change my stomach will this excerise flatten my stomach alot wen would i see results?

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