Abs Exercises you can do at home are an easy and effective way to build a strong core with zero equipment.
The four main abdominal muscle groups that combine to completely cover the internal organs include:
- Transversus abdominis – the deepest muscle layer. Its main roles are to stabilise the trunk and maintain internal abdominal pressure
- Rectus abdominis – slung between the ribs and the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. When contracting, this muscle has the characteristic bumps or bulges that are commonly called ‘the six pack’. The main function of the rectus abdominis is to move the body between the ribcage and the pelvis
- External oblique muscles – these are on each side of the rectus abdominis. The external oblique muscles allow the trunk to twist, but to the opposite side of whichever external oblique is contracting. For example, the right external oblique contracts to turn the body to the left
- Internal oblique muscles – these flank the rectus abdominis and are located just inside the hipbones. They operate in the opposite way to the external oblique muscles. For example, twisting the trunk to the left requires the left side internal oblique and the right side external oblique to contract together.
Source: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
Abs Exercises you can do at Home
1. Hollow Rocks
The beauty of this exercise is in its simple execution. While more is going on below the surface than it may appear, performing the exercise is a simple two-step process.
Lie faceup on the floor, feet together, and bring them four to six inches off the ground. Then bring the arms overhead, so your biceps are next to your ears. Press your lower back into the floor, contract your core, and raise your arms and legs off the ground. You should immediately feel your core contract.
While in the strong hollow position, gently rock forward as you continue to suspend your arms and legs off the floor. When you feel comfortable in the position, try to increase the range of motion of your rock. Make sure to maintain constant tension in your core — neither your hands nor heels should touch the ground.
2. Hollow Hold
The hollow hold is an isometric bodyweight exercise with variations that are used in every aspect of training; from rehabilitation up through power and athleticism. This motion develops a tight and stable core in which power and energy can be transferred throughout the entire body without interruption.
To perform the basic hollow hold, you will begin by laying flat on your back. Squeeze your ankles together, initiating your glutes, while simultaneously squeezing your arms next to your ears. This will tighten your upper body. Make sure you press your lower back into the floor as your arms and feet leave the ground. You will come into a hollow-body, crescent moon shape. Imagine you are pulling your navel into your spine and your body feels as if every muscle is tightened. Begin your hollow holds in this fashion.
3. Bird Dog Crunch
Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position with your wrists stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips.
Extend your right arm forward and left leg back, maintaining a flat back and keeping your hips in line with the floor. Think about driving your foot toward the wall behind you.
Squeeze your abs and draw your right elbow and left knee in to meet near the center of your body.
Reverse the movement and extend your arm and leg back out.
Continue this movement for a set amount of time, then repeat with the other arm and leg.
Targets the core and glutes.