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5 of the Best Ab Circuit Workouts

Before we dive into the best ab circuit workout for you, I want to get a few things out of the way.

First off, a six-pack is an attainable goal with hard work and the right nutrition. However, I don’t recommend it, especially for the average person who truly wants to enjoy life.

When you’re going after six-pack abs, balance is not really an option.

You need to be really dedicated to your nutrition and workouts. There’s no slipping allowed, which can lead to a whole lot of stress - not to mention possible health issues that can happen for some when they reach a meager body fat percentage.

Yet, I get it. It’s a “goal.” I just want to throw a bit of caution into the wind and make another suggestion for you.

How about creating strong abs for the sake of creating strong abs?

Hear me out on this one.

Strong abs contribute to a strong core. This can support the body in various ways and prevent pain or injury from happening down the road.

Ideally, none of us want to experience pain. And keeping your body strong and resilient is a sure-fire way to prevent that from happening or at least to severely decrease your chances of it happening.

So, with all of that in mind, let’s dive into the five best ab circuits. You can throw these at the end of your regular workout or do them as stand-alone workouts two to three times a week.

Let’s take a look!

5 of the Best Ab Circuit Workouts

1. The 10-Minute Ab Circuit

This circuit involves doing each exercise for 45 seconds, with a 15-second break before you dive into the next one. You’ll also do a total of two rounds. If you’re feeling keen, make this a 15-minute ab circuit and go for three rounds.

Here are your exercises:

  • Plank Hold - Assume a plank position. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders with your forearms on the ground. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your toes. You should also be squeezing your abs and your glutes. Hold this position for 45 seconds. If it becomes difficult, drop to your knees and hold here.
  • Mountain Climbers - Begin in a full plank, which means your hands should be directly under your shoulders. Drive one knee up toward your chest. As you send that leg back, drive your opposite knee up toward your chest. Continue to do this for 45 seconds.
  • Dead Bugs - Begin face-up on a comfortable surface. Extend your hands straight into the air. Position your knees, bent at 90 degrees, over your hips. Lower your right arm straight back and behind you. At the same time, extend your left leg straight, without touching the ground. Bring them back to the starting position and switch sides. Continue to do this for 45 seconds.
  • Bicycle Crunches - Lay face up with your elbows bent and your hands behind your head. Bring your right elbow to your left knee, then bring your left elbow to your right knee. Continue to alternate sides. You should feel this one on the side of your abs!
  • Burpees - Begin standing. Quickly jump down into a plank. Explosively stand back up and jump into the air, and repeat.

2. The Lower Ab Circuit

This circuit contains three lower ab exercises. Perform 15-20 repetitions of each for 2-3 sets.

  • Scissors - Lay face-up. Lift your legs slightly off the ground. Cross your right leg over the top of your left leg, then do the same with your left leg. Continue to do this for 15-20 repetitions.
  • Leg Circles - Lay face-up, and slightly lift your legs off the ground. Move both of your legs in circles.
  • Leg Raises - Again, start face-up with your legs straight. Gently and slowly lift your legs straight up in the air, hinging at the hip. Slowly lower and repeat.

3. The Beginner Ab Circuit

New to working your abs? Try this small circuit to build up some basic strength, then progress to any other circuits listed in this article.

  • Forearm Plank - Begin with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your forearms planted on the ground. If possible, lift your body so that you’re on your forearms and toes. If this is too difficult, simply lift your hips and hold the plank on your knees. Aim for 15 seconds to start, progressing eventually to 30 seconds, then 45 seconds, then a minute. Do at least 3-5 plank holds per session.
  • Side Plank - Start on your side with your elbow and forearm under your shoulder. Your shoulders, hips, and legs should be stacked on top of each other. Lift your hip off the ground, creating a straight line with your body. If this is difficult, you can also perform this one from your knees. Strive to do the same holds or number of repetitions as your forearm plank, and don’t forget to do each side.
  • Reverse Crunch - Begin lying face-up. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and plant your feet flat on the ground to start. Bring your legs up and your feet off the ground. Raise your legs until your thighs are vertical. Your lower back and hip should come off of the ground as you do this. Return to start, and repeat for 15 repetitions and 2-3 sets.

Check this article out next: Level Up Your Workout With Resistance Bands

4. The Advanced Ab Circuit

This is very similar to the beginner ab circuit, but a little bit harder!

For the plank, aim to hold it for at least one minute - the same as the side plank. For the reverse crunch, do 20 repetitions for 3-4 sets. Finish this circuit off with 10-20 burpees! Feel the burn.

5. The At-Home Ab Circuit

While most of these exercises require next-to-no equipment, here’s one where you don’t even need a mat to complete it. All you need is enough space for a plank!

  • Plank - Assume a full plank position and hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Plank Jacks - Assume a full plank position where your hands are directly under your shoulders. Jump both of your feet out to the sides, then jump them back.
  • Burpees - Begin standing. Quickly jump down into a plank. Explosively stand back up and jump into the air, and repeat.
  • Side Plank - Assume a side plank position and hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

Work Those Abs!

Your abs are part of your foundation.

They support your spine and pelvis and prevent injuries or pain from happening. Strengthening them can help you avoid injury and get back to enjoying your life more. And remember, abs don’t have to be about aesthetics. It can simply be about getting stronger and treating your body right.

Related article: An Energizing At-Home Beginner’s Boxing Workout

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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