How to get sculpted abs using just bodyweight, no heavy weights necessary

·3 min read
woman training abs
You don't need weights to strengthen your core. Getty
  • You don't need weights to develop a strong core and build your abs.

  • It's possible to work your mid-section using just your bodyweight, CrossFit trainer Sarah Molloy told Insider.

  • Try exercises like deadbugs, Russian twists, and single leg V-ups.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

If you want to strengthen your mid-section but don't have the opportunity to go to a gym, you can perform effective exercises at home, Sarah Molloy, a trainer at CrossFit Putney in London told Insider.

"You don't necessarily need weights. You can build a strong core with bodyweight," Molloy said.

Certain bodyweight exercises, like push ups, pull-ups, or ab-dips, rely on core strength to complete each rep, so you can engage those core muscles without lifting heavy weights. Plus, if you're new to fitness, bodyweight exercises are a great way to learn proper form.

"Starting out with bodyweight core exercises can be beneficial and keep you safe from injury," Molloy said.

Here are the three of the best movements to work your core anywhere, according to trainers.

Deadbugs

Luke Worthington 5
The stretched out position of a dead bug, demonstrated by Luke Worthington. Luke Worthington

"Deadbugs work 360 degrees of your core including the deep core muscles," Molloy told Insider. "They also keep the lower back safe, so they are a perfect exercise for beginners."

They're also a great movement for activating the core before a workout, as personal trainer Luke Worthington previously told Insider.

  • Lie on your back with your lower back completely flush to the floor. Raise your arms straight upwards towards the ceiling and create a table-top position with your legs bent at 90 degrees both at the hip and the knee. Your shins should be parallel to the ground and the ceiling. This is your starting position.

  • Lower one arm above your head while simultaneously stretching out the opposite leg (keeping it off the floor), pushing your heel away from you, exhaling as you do so, and maintaining contact between your spine and the floor.

  • Return both outstretched limbs to the starting position before performing the movement on the other side.

  • Aim for 4-5 sets at 20 reps.

Single leg V-ups

Single leg V-ups
Single leg V-ups can be performed with two arms, or leaving one hand on the ground. Getty

"These are a great exercise to target not just the abs but the lower abdominals and obliques," Molloy said. "To do them with perfect form also forces you to engage all the muscles in your trunk."

  • Lie on your back and reach both arms towards the ceiling and start to roll your body up.

  • Raise one leg at a time to meet your hands. Pause for a second as you touch your foot then slowly roll back down.

  • Keep alternating legs.

  • Aim for 4-5 sets of 30 reps

Russian twists

Russian twist
Russian twists can be performed while holding a weight or without, clasping the hands together. Getty

"I love these as they are a full core exercise which also focus on balance, building stability in the spine, and rotational movement," Molloy said. "They can be done weighted or unweighted."

  • Sit on the ground with your sit-bones rooted to the floor. Bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor.

  • Straighten your spine, lean back, and create a V-shape with the thighs and torso.

  • Reach your arms out in front of you and clasp hands together then slowly rotate left, back to center, then right.

  • Aim for 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps.

Read the original article on Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting