Ab workout

Looking to work your waist and tighten your torso? Try these four abdominal exercises at home or in the gym.
Published 17 November 2015

Ab workout


Exercising the muscles of your mid-section is important for improving posture, stabilising the spine and preventing back pain. Not sure how? Follow these simple exercises and our guide to the equipment that can help you get a total tummy workout at home.

Warm up
It’s important to warm-up before you get into your exercises. Get your blood pumping with a brisk walk before you start.

Start out easy with eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise, and gradually increase to 12 or create a circuit of all four exercises by doing them one after another in single sets for up to one minute. Repeat the circuit up to three times and do it two to four times a week for best results.


1. Reverse curls

Works: Your lower abs

How-to: Lie on your back with your legs raised, knees bent and hands resting on your stomach, below your navel. Lift and lower your bottom, pressing your heels towards the roof. This is only a small movement from the hips, don’t lift your legs and don’t lift your back off the floor – just slightly raise your bottom a couple of centimetres off the ground to feel your stomach muscles engage. Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.

Equipment: A mat or towel.

2. Static plank

Works: Your core muscles

How-to: Lie face-down with your forearms and toes on the floor. Lift your chest and thighs off the ground and lower your bottom to keep your back straight. Exhale and imagine you’re trying to bring your belly button to your spine. Keep breathing and hold this position for as long as possible.

Equipment: A mat or towel.

3. Side plank

Works: Your core and waist muscles

How-to: Lie on your side with your lower leg bent and your top leg straight. Rest on your forearm. Lift your hips off the ground, making sure your shoulders, hips and knees are in one straight line. Engage your stomach muscles and breathe slowly as you hold the position for up to one minute on each side.

Tip: To make it easier, bend both legs. To intensify the exercise, straighten both legs.

Equipment: A mat or towel.

4. Abdominal crunches

Works: Your upper abs

How-to: Sit on the edge of a fit ball with your feet firmly on the floor, hip-width apart. Support the back of your head with your hands. Keep your shoulder blades off the ball and engage your abdominal muscles as you lift and lower your upper torso to a 45-degree angle. Inhale as you lower and exhale as you lift. Repeat.

Equipment: A fit ball.