Every time you see a Hollywood star or celebrity showing off well-toned abs, do you feel that familiar twinge of regret? Do you wish your abs looked that toned and worked out? Well, it’s possible to get that by diligently following a few simple exercises.

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The secret to great abs is a tight core. Your core controls your balance as well as your abdominal and back muscles along with your pelvic muscles.

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The Plank

The most basic core exercise is the Plank.

  • Get down onto an exercise mat supporting your weight on your toes and your forearms. Keep your feet a little apart. Your elbows should be bent and directly below your shoulders. Your face should be parallel to the ground and the head should be in one direct line with the rest of the body. 
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles whilst doing this exercise. 
  • Keep your body in one straight line without any sagging or bending and hold this position for as long as you can. You might feel your abdominal muscles shaking and shivering, but don’t give up. Count up to at least 30 or 40 in this position and bring yourself down gradually. Do at least 10 reps and follow with 2-3 sets of 10 each.

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The Side Plank

This variation of the plank targets each side of the body and like all core exercises, it works out more than just your abs. Your obliques, quads, hamstrings, lower back and glutes all get a great workout with this.

  • Lie on the side. Support your body on your forearm, which is bent at the elbow right below your shoulder and keep one foot on top of the other. Raise your body sideways with the support of your forearm and feet. Hold this position for 10-15 counts and shift sides to repeat the same. Your other arm can be propped up on your waist or can lie flat on your other side.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles whilst doing this exercise.
  • Make sure that your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle are in one line. Keep your chin straight and off your chest.

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The Bridge

This exercise works your core, the whole abdominal region, your lower back and your glutes and really helps your spine stabilize.

  • Lie on your back on an exercise mat or a carpet and keep your knees bent with your feet apart the width of your hips. Keep both your arms palms down flat on the ground beside you. Tighten your abdominal muscles and make sure your entire upper body is neutral and well-balanced on the floor.
  • Take a deep breath and exhale as you slowly raise your body from the glutes up— literally one vertebra at a time. Continue to keep your abdominal muscles and glutes tight. Raise your hips up as high as they can go.
  • Hold this for two counts as you inhale at the top and exhale as you bring your back down gradually till your entire back and glutes are on the ground. Hold two counts and start again. Repeat this exercise at least 10times.

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The Bicycle Crunch

This is a great exercise for the obliques, abs and butt, and builds core strength.

  • Lie on your back; keep your hands behind your head without straining your neck. Bring your legs up to a 45 degree angle and slowly start moving them in the pedaling motion.
  • As you are doing the pedaling motion, tighten your abdominal muscles, bring your upper body up and touch your left knee with your right elbow and vice versa. Make sure to do this in a controlled motion.
  • When one elbow touches the knee, the other elbow should touch the ground. Breathe calmly and continuously through out these motions. Do about 15-20 repetitions and relax.

Repeat these exercises as a rule everyday and see the results in the form of fab abs real soon, because the secret to great abs is not only doing crunches and leg raises, but also actually building your core muscles.


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