My 5 Favorite No-Equipment Ab Exercises

Last Friday, June 17, marked the end of my 100-day workout challenge. So much has happened since I started in mid-March that it’s hard to believe it’s only been 100 days! I’ll be writing a more complete reflection about my experience later on, but for now I wanted to “celebrate” by sharing with you some of what I learned over the past several weeks. Because workout boredom is all too real, committing to 100 days of exercise pretty much forced me to experiment with different routines. Below, you’ll see five of my favorite ab-toning exercises that I picked up along the way. It’s a pretty diverse group, so I’m hoping you’ll find at least one that’s fun for you, too. But the best part? All five moves require zero weights, bands, or ropes, meaning you can hit the mat and get your sweat on anytime, anywhere. No excuses ;).

// Side-to-Side Waist Cinchers

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I picked this up from Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up. This move is super-simple and gives a great burn in both your core and upper body.

// Side Plank w/ Leg Raises

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Call me crazy, but I love planks. This move is probably my favorite variation. It requires balance, which helps you engage your center, and the added leg raises are great for the obliques.

// Runner’s Crunch

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I’ve abhorred crunches ever since elementary school gym class. Coming across the runner’s crunch in a PopSugar Fitness video, however, might just have changed my mind. This exercise reminds of a Pilates sit-up, and it blasts your lower abs without giving you that corked-neck feeling that sometimes comes with a traditional crunch.

// Down-Dog Dippers

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Pardon the awkward form, but I had to throw in some yoga eventually :). Like the waist cinchers, down-dog dippers are great for toning the obliques while creating an intense burn in your shoulders and back.

// One-Legged Burpees


Burpees, like crunches, are on the “workouts I don’t do list.” This one-legged variation, however, is a fun way to target your abs while mixing in some cardio. (Again, apologies for the funky positioning…I was afraid of falling in the water!)

What are your favorite no-equipment workouts? Share below!


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