The 16 Best Ab Workouts at Home

Bri Hand

Ready to start your home ab workout routine? Let’s explore some of our favorite ab exercises for ab workouts at home. (Some of which are featured in our 10-minute ab workout video, perfect for home exercise.) These 16 workouts include: 

  1. Sit-ups

  2. Forearm planks

  3. Oblique crunches

  4. Mountain climbers

  5. Bird dog

  6. Russian twists

  7. Toe reaches

  8. Side planks

  9. Scissor kicks

  10. Plank shoulder taps

  11. Open leg rockers

  12. Star planks

  13. Side reaches

  14. Side hip bridges

  15. Hollow holds

  16. Leg lifts

Let’s dive into each exercise and how to do it properly:

1. Sit up

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent. 

  2. With your hands placed behind your head, lift yourself up so your upper body and thighs form a “V” shape. Keep your core tense as you lift yourself up. 

  3. Begin to lower yourself back down to your starting position. 

2. Forearm plank

  1. Lie facedown on the ground and prop yourself up onto your forearms. Your forearms and elbows should be beneath your shoulders, your palms flat on the ground, your arms straight and parallel to each other. 

  2. Your legs should be extended straight behind you, toes on the ground. Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine. Keep your spine and body straight. 

  3. Your neck should be straight with your spine, head facing the floor. 

  4. Hold a plank position with your core engaged for as long as possible. 

3. Oblique crunch

  1. Your starting position should be flat on your back, knees bent, and feet on the floor. 

  2. Put your right hand behind your head, with your right elbow out. 

  3. Pull yourself up, engaging your abs to lift your right shoulder off the ground, rotating your body to connect your right elbow with your left knee. 

  4. Once your elbow touches your knee, lower yourself back down. Repeat steps on the opposite side, connecting your left elbow to your right knee. 

4. Mountain climbers

  1. Start off in a high plank position.

  2. Slowly bring one of your knees up towards your chest as if you were climbing a ladder. 

  3. Lower your leg, then repeat the motion with the opposite leg, bringing it up as if you were climbing. 

  4. Repeat continuously, “climbing” with your legs while your arms and torso are in plank position, core engaged. 

5. Bird dog

  1. Get on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, back flat. 

  2. Extend your right arm and left leg simultaneously, creating a slight “U” shape with your body.

  3. Hold the position and engage your core. 

  4. Bring your right arm and left leg back into the tabletop position. 

  5. Repeat the motion with the left arm and right leg, extending them, holding, and engaging your core. 

6. Russian twists 

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. 

  2. While leaning back slightly and squeezing your shoulder blades together, twist your torso to the right side, tapping your hands on the floor. Keep your back straight and core engaged.

  3. Bring arms back into position, twisting back to center.

  4. Twist to the left, tapping your hands on the floor. Repeat.

Tip: To increase the difficulty of this exercise, try keeping your feet off the ground, with your body in a “V” shape. 

7. Toe reach 

  1. Lie down flat on your back and lift your legs, holding them straight towards the sky.

  2. While tightening your core, reach your arms upwards, curling your head and neck off the ground, reaching towards your toes. 

  3. Lean back down into the start position, and repeat.

8. Side plank

  1. Lie on your left side, with legs straight and forearm supporting your upper body.

  2. Lift your hips to create a straight line, engaging your core.

  3. Breathe deeply, keeping your shoulder away from your ear while holding the position for one minute.

  4. Roll over to the right and repeat.

9. Scissor kicks

  1. Lie on your back, legs straight up, and rest your arms by your sides or under your butt.

  2. Squeeze your core and lower both legs to a 45-degree angle.

  3. Lift one leg while lowering the other, alternating in a flutter motion.

  4. Repeat for about 15 reps, avoiding speeding up.

10. Plank shoulder tap

  1. Begin in high plank, with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and shoulders over wrists.

  2. Keep your body stable and touch your left shoulder with your right hand.

  3. Return your right hand to the starting position.

  4. Repeat the sequence on the left side.

11. Open leg rocker

  1. Sit up straight, knees bent, feet flat on the ground.

  2. Lightly grab the ankles and lift your legs into a "V" shape.

  3. Keep your legs open wide and roll back onto your shoulder.

  4. Engage your core, roll back up, and straighten back while keeping your legs up.

  5. Repeat the rolling motion, pausing at the top each time.

12. Star plank

  1. Assume a press-up position, then spread palms and toes out to form an “X” shape.

  2. Brace your core, keeping a flat line from head to toes.

  3. Hold for the required time before returning to the press-up position.

13. Side reaches

  1. Stand with feet hip-distance apart, arms at sides.

  2. Place the right hand on the back of your head like in a crunch.

  3. Crunch down toward the left, with the right elbow pointing upward.

  4. Simultaneously, reach your left hand down.

  5. Hold, squeeze abs, and then switch sides.

14. Side hip bridge

  1. Lie on your right side, with your right forearm on the mat, elbow under shoulder, and left foot on top of right.

  2. Place your left hand on your hip, fingers spread.

  3. Engage obliques, lift hips for a straight line from head to heels.

  4. Pause, then lower for one rep.

  5. Do 10 reps on the right side, then switch to the left and repeat.

15. Hollow hold

  1. Lie on your back, extend your arms and legs on the floor.

  2. Raise your arms and legs, creating a banana shape with only the lower back on the mat.

  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

16. Leg lifts

  1. Lie on the floor, arms at your sides, and legs straight out.

  2. Keeping your back on the ground, pull your naval inward, squeeze legs together, and lift them into an “L” shape.

  3. Slowly lower legs without arching your back.

  4. Hold for a few seconds when your feet hover above the ground before you return to the starting position.

Starting your home exercise journey 

Now that you have some abdominal muscle exercises to try, it’s time to begin your home workout journey! 

At Hydrow, we believe ab workouts at home are important for building a stronger core, especially when combined with other core-strengthening exercises like rowing. To perform a rowing stroke, you need to keep your core engaged throughout the movement.

Interested in a low-impact full-body workout with cardio, strength, and recovery? Hydrow rowing machines offer the most immersive and efficient total-body workout, with 86% of your body’s muscles worked in a single rowing stroke. In just 20 minutes, you can give your entire body a solid workout, with Hydrow’s community of fellow rowers and world-class Athletes cheering you on along the way. 

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Hydrow's Content Marketing Manager and enjoys writing, singing, kayaking, and Zumba!