5 Most Effective Abdominal Exercises

Working out your abdominal muscles doesn’t just make you look good. They are an integral part of your core strength that’s essential to a healthy frame and powerful body. Here are five of the most effective exercises to develop those essential abdominal muscles.

Barbell Back Squat

Center a weightless barbell evenly across your shoulders with your knees shoulder-width apart and gently squat as though lowering yourself into a chair. This special kind of squat is designed to target your core and so does not require additional weights.

Dumbbell Side Bend

With your feet hip-width apart, take a dumbbell in one hand and gently bend to that side as far as you can. Repeat this about 12 times and you should feel it activating your foundational core. Once finished, change to the other side.

The Plank

Lying face down on the ground, prop yourself up on your elbows and the tips of your toes. Hold this pose with your back straight for around 20 seconds and then release. Repeat five times for a set.

Hollow Extension-to-Cannonball

Lie on your back with your arms and legs extended and suspended an inch off the ground. Then sit up from that into the cannonball position, with your arms wrapped around your knees tucked under your chin. Repeat 12 times for a set.


This exercise is a classic for a reason. The sit-up is best performed by lying with your back on the ground, your legs suspended from the ground, and your arms beside your head. Sit up just enough that you feel it working your stomach muscles. Repeat 15-20 times for a set.