In case you missed it, your core has an influence on everything you do, even routines that aren’t necessarily linked with your abs. And, yes, having a strong core is about much more than the societally lauded “six-pack abs.” Your core plays a critical part in your ability to squat big weights, enhance your balance, climb up the stairs with ease, run quickly or long distances, and more. However, before you begin, you should know a bit more information about your core. Your core is made up of the muscles that go from your chest to your hips. Your rectus abdominis (a.k.a. your six-pack muscles, which run down the front of your stomach), transverse abdominis (deep abdominal muscles that wrap around your stomach), and obliques are the muscles you’ve probably heard the most about (otherwise known as your side abs, which help you rotate). 

Movements that engage *all* these main muscles, preferably at the same time, are key to a good ab exercise. To keep your abdominal muscles engaged during this workout, focus on pushing your navel in toward your spine. If you’re doing a back movement, make sure to press your lower back into the floor so your abs, not your spine, do the effort. The 20 techniques listed here are some of the most effective abdominal workouts available. Combine them to create an abdominal exercise that will make you feel stronger in no time.

  1. Glute Bridge March – Lie down on your back with your legs bent and your heels under your knees, your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms, palms facing you, across your chest. Raise your hips so that a straight line runs from your shoulders to your knees. Brace your abs and raise your right knee over your hip, keeping the leg at a 90-degree angle. Hold for a few seconds before lowering your right foot. Carry on with the left. That counts as one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then go on to the next motion right away. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds after doing all three exercises, then repeat for three to five rounds total.
  2. Mountain Climber – Starting in a plank posture is the best way to begin. Drive your right knee into your chest, then immediately return to a plank and repeat with your left leg. That counts as one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then go on to the next motion right away. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds after doing all three exercises, then repeat for three to five rounds total.
  3. Plank – Assume a plank stance with your elbows stacked beneath your shoulders. Lower both knees slowly and steadily till they kiss the ground. Return to a plank posture after that. That counts as one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then go on to the next motion right away. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds after doing all three exercises, then repeat for three to five rounds total.
  4. Shoulder Tap – Start in a plank posture with your hands just beneath your shoulders. As you leap your feet outward, touch your right shoulder with your left hand while keeping your core engaged. Return to the beginning. Rep the process on the other side. That counts as one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then go on to the next motion right away. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds after doing all three exercises, then repeat for three to five rounds total.
  5. Lower Leg – Start in a plank posture with your hands just beneath your shoulders. As you leap your feet outward, touch your right shoulder with your left hand while keeping your core engaged. Return to the beginning. Rep the process on the other side. That counts as one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then go on to the next motion right away. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds after doing all three exercises, then repeat for three to five rounds total.
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