Looking to slim up that midsection before summer hits? You can kickstart your six-pack aspirations with this series of our favorite abdominal and oblique exercises. These 13 moves will get your abs tight and toned in no time! Plus, they're perfect for moms of all ages.
1. Kettlebell Windmill: Kettlebells are a great way to add a little heat to your favorite moves. Start by raising a kettlebell straight over your head. As you turn your gaze up to the weight, let your resting arm slide down your leg. Squeeze your obliques as you return to standing. Click here for more instructions.
2. Weighted Point Plié Side Bend: This move will definitely hit those abs, but it also targets your shoulders and calf muscles too! Begin with your legs a little more than shoulder-width apart, and lift a dumbbell up to your chest. Drop into a plié and rise onto the balls of your feet. Engage your core and dip your torso to one side, and then the other. Check out more details here.
3. Plank with Lateral Arm Raise: Planks are one of the most reliable ways to work those core muscles, and this variation is no exception! Begin in a high plank position, and slowly raise one arm in front of you as you ground your weight into your feet and immobile hand. Engage your abs as you hold your arm straight out to the side for a couple seconds, and then lower it back to the floor. Repeat with your other arm! Click here to see how it's done.
4. Starfish Abs: Begin on your back with your arms and legs spread out in an "X." Lift your shoulder off the ground as you reach one arm up to meet the opposing leg in the air above your abdomen. Slowly return to the starting position, and repeat the move, using the other arm and leg. For more directions, click here.
5. Crouching Tiger: This move will torch some serious calories! Get on all fours, and curl your toes under. Push up your hips so that your knees are hovering a couple of inches off the floor. Swing one leg under the body and lift the opposite arm off the floor. Do your best to straighten your leg before returning to the starting position. Click here for additional advice.
6. Side Plank Hip Dip: Begin in an extended side plank with your top hand on your hip and your core muscles flexed and tight. With a controlled movement, allow your hip to drop a couple inches. Exhale, and bring yourself up into your side plank. Check out our how-to guide here!
7. Pilates Hundreds: This classic Pilates exercise will have that tummy toned and tightened in no time. Lie on your back with your legs lifted about 6 inches off the floor. Roll your shoulders off the floor and reach your arms toward your feet. Pulse your arms forward, inhaling for five beats, and then exhaling for five beats. For more information, click here.
For more ab-sculpting exercises, continue onto the next page.
8. Genie Abs: Begin in a seated position and lean back, bringing your knees up in front of you. Cross your arms in front of you like a genie. Engage your core as you bring your knees closer to your stomach in a crunch-like movement. Move your knees back, and then repeat the movement. Click here to see how it's done.
9. Corkscrew: Start by holding a dumbbell with both hands to one side. Bend your knees into a partial squat and twist your torso, simultaneously lifting the dumbbell up over your head and around to the other side of your body. As you move, flex your abdominal muscles to keep that spine nice and straight! To see a demonstration, click here.
10. Kneeling Hinge: Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in both hands and extend it away from your chest. Lean or "hinge" backward as far as you can, and then use your glutes and abdominal muscles to propel yourself back to the starting position. Confused? Check out more instructions here.
11. Barbie Abs: Begin on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift your legs over your hips and create the "Barbie leg" stance by setting one foot slightly in front of the other and flexing your toes. Maintain that position as you lower your legs as far as you can. When you return to the top, switch your legs and go again! Click here for a demonstration.
12. "C" Crunches: This go-to crunch move can work wonders for your abs and obliques. Start on your back with your knees bent and your arms extended. Exhale and roll your shoulder blades off the floor as you crunch forward into a "C." Slowly unroll your spine and return to the starting position. For more advice, click here.
13. Side Plank Thread the Needle: Begin in a side plank, with your elbow grounded. Lift your opposite arm into the air and open your chest. Keep your hips square and those core muscles tight as you thread your upper arm underneath you. Check out the details by clicking here.