You hear it all day err’ day—work your abs, abs, abs. It’s the base of every workout routine, and the body part you most want to show off come summertime. But who the hell has the time to do crunch after crunch, only to see barely a smidgen of definition? Not you.
That’s why we went to the pros to find out exactly which moves will make a noticeable difference, fast. (Coupled with healthy eating habits, natch, because you know abs are made in the kitchen). Get ready to work it, girl.
1. Cable Twist
Try it: Stand with your right side facing a cable stack. Set the cable at chest-height, and take the handle in your right hand with left hand clasped on top. Extend your arms out in front of you. With abs tight, twist your torso to the left, keeping your hands at the center of your chest the entire time. Return to the start. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps to the left, then turn to face the opposite direction and complete 10 reps rotating to the right.
2. Stability Ball Knee Tucks
Try it: With knees placed on the center of the stability ball and hands positioned firmly on the floor, walk your body out to a plank position so that your butt, shoulders, and head are aligned. Engage your abs and hip flexors to bring your knees forward. As they move toward your chest, your spine will flex, activating your abs. Hold the tuck for a second or two, then slowly return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10 to 15 reps.
3. Forearm Plank
Try it: Start in pushup position, but instead of resting your weight on your hands, bend your elbows and rest on your forearms. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Tighten abs and hold the position as long as you can. Keep track of your time, and aim to beat it with every workout.
4. Side Plank
Try it: Lie on your left side, resting your left forearm on the floor for support. Raise your hips up so your body forms a straight line, squeeze your glutes, and tighten your abs. (Your weight should be on your left forearm and the edge of your left foot.) Hold for 30 seconds or until exhaustion, then lower to the ground and repeat on the right side.
5. Medicine Ball Slams
That’s one rep. Quickly retrieve the ball and repeat for 30 to 45 seconds.
6. Shoulder and Knee Taps
Try it: Start in a pushup position with hands on floor, abs tight, glutes engaged. Lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder, then return it to the floor. Immediately lift your left hand and tap your right shoulder, then return to floor. Now quickly bend your right knee and bring it to your left elbow, then return to start. Immediately bend your left knee and bring to left elbow, then return to start. That’s one rep. Continue to do this sequence without rest for one minute.
Lie facedown on the floor with arms outstretched overhead and feet together. Lift your chest and legs at the same time, so your chest and thighs both come off the ground. Hold for a beat, then return to start. That’s one rep. Aim to complete 12 to 15 at a time.