Here's how to get killer abs without ever going to the gym
A lot of us say we don't have the time, energy or know-how to work out at the gym on a regular basis. Some of us are reluctant to fork out the money to pay for a membership, and others don't have the willpower to deal with a bossy personal trainer. Well, sorry guys – no excuses anymore because apparently, you need none of that to stay in shape.
While there are lots of small things you can do to get in better shape – like tweaking your eating habits ever-so-slightly, walking more and taking a really hot bath once in a while – it really comes down to you working hard and keeping a steady routine.
Some people want to work on their physical endurance, others want to build up their strength, and some just want to chase the rainbow and tone their bodies purely so they can look like all those Instagram models. One of the most elusive things to have is a flat belly, and some people go as far as to wish for abs so ripped you can grate cheese on them.
But there are a bunch of mistakes people make when trying to lose belly fat, mainly because they forget that as well as the right kind of exercise, you need a healthy diet, enough sleep and proper dedication to your goal. So keep that in mind, and if abs are what you're after – then here's how to get them.
Using your bodyweight means you won't need any other equipment (except maybe a yoga mat) for these exercises. They are a mix of planks, pilates and yoga moves that'll get your core fired up and focus on all areas of your abdominals. Do enough reps of each exercise to feel a burn, and if you practice these 14 exercises regularly, you'll start to see those abs peeking through.
1. Plank taps
Start in a high plank with your feet hip-distance apart and your back straight (no raised or dipped bottoms please!). Then tap your left shoulder with your right hand, then your right shoulder with your left hand. Repeat this ensuring you keep your hips as still as possible. You can also add taps out with your feet too.
2. Mountain climbers
Starting with high plank again, bring your left knee up under your torso (try and touch your elbow) and then bring it back to high plank again. Switch legs and speed it up – just like you're running on the spot.
3. Pilates 100s
Lie on your back, raise your legs and bend your knees at a clean 90-degree angle. Light your head and shoulder off the mat, engaging your core to keep you up. Then extend your legs and lift your arms to shoulder-height. With palms facing down, inhale and pump your (straightened) arms up and down, then exhale and pump five more. Repeat this 10 times and – voila! – you'll have your 100.
4. Plank ups
Start this move in high plank. Bring one arm down to rest on your elbow and forearm, and follow with the other arm so that you end up in a forearm plank. One arm at a time, push back up to high plank. Repeat this, alternating which side you lower down first. Try not to wiggle your butt too much.
5. Warrior Balance
Steady yourself on your left foot as you bend and lift your right knee to hip height in front of you. Then, reach your torso forward and extend your right leg behind you, straightening it as you move. Lower your torso so that it's also parallel to the floor, just as your right leg should be now. Extend your arms straight ahead for balance. Pause, hold this pose for a moment, then reverse the movement. After a few reps, switch to do the other side.
6. Bird dog crunch
Start on your hands and knees – hips square, back flat with wrists above shoulders and knees below hips. Inhale and teach your right arm forward while extending your left leg back. Keep your hips square and engage your core to balance. Exhale and draw your right elbow to left knee. Extend back out, and repeat all this a few times. Then do the other side.
7. Boat pose
Sit with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold your legs under the thighs and lean back a little. Lift your feet so your shins are parallel to the floor. Extend your arms up, straight ahead of you. Then, straighten and raise your legs so your body forms a V shape. Hold for 10-20 seconds.
8. Plank With T Rotation
Start in high plank, feet hip-distance apart. Rotate your body to the right, keeping your shoulder above your wrists. Reach your right arm high and don't drop your hips. Return slowly to the center position and do the same moves on the other side.
9. Plank hops
Start in high plank, this time with your feet together. Brace your abs, then hop your feet to the right with your knees close to your right elbow. Jump back to plank and hop towards the left to repeat on the other side.
10. Reverse lunges with side twist
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step back with your left foot and lower into a lunge. At the same time as you bend your knee, twist your torso and look across your front leg (the right one). Return to standing, and do the same on the other side. Try it with or without weights.
11. Plank Jacks
Start in high plank, then keeping your core switched on, jump your feet in and out. If your wrists are hurting, do it on your elbows instead.
12. Down Dog Abs
Start in downward-facing dog and lift your right leg in the air (you're now a three-legged dog). Bring your right knee under your torso, close to your opposite elbow, and then extend it back into the three-legged dog. Bring the same knee back to the torso, this time toward your other elbow. Extend back, then do the same movements with the left leg.
13. Side plank twists
Do a side plank, resting on your left side on your forearm. Put your right hand behind your head and rotate your torso, dipping your right elbow to the floor. Don't drop your hips, and remember to do both sides.
14. Scissor switch
Lie on your back, with your legs straight up in the air, and your arms reaching overhead. Bring the right leg forward and curl from the shoulder blade to reach for the calf or thigh. Stay in this curled position, and switch legs.
Think you got it? Good. Now off with you and get moving!