- Spiderman Plank Crunch
This is a twist on a regular plank. Men’s fitness says that the plank is one of the only exercises that works all of your core.
Instructions from mensfitness.com: Start in a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body perfectly straight. Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position. Repeat by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow. That’s one rep. Alternate sides for a total of 10 complete reps.
- Reverse Curl and Lift
This combines the reverse crunch with the leg lift. This is great for strengthening your core and back. If you find this is too much pressure/strain on your neck you can put a pillow under your head.
Instructions from huffingtonpost.com: Lie flat on your back with both hands behind your head, legs extended out with your heels lifted about six inches off the floor, toes pointed. Contract your abs, bend and draw your knees into your chest, and raise your hips slightly off the floor. Slowly lower back to the start position. Repeat eight times, for three sets total.
- Mountain Climber
This exercise is great for both your abs and cardio. While doing this movement opt for the quality of your movement over the speed of the movement. Keep your movements fluid and smooth so you can focus on keeping your core tight and your back flat.
Instructions from womenshealthmag.com: Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles (a). Lift your right foot off the floor, and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can (b). Return to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg (c). Continue alternating for 10-12 reps.
- Side plank with Rotation
This variation of the plank is a challenge. However, it is great core stabilizer and lightener. You will literally feel your abs tighten as you twist your arm under your body. Do as many reps as you can, don’t worry about how many you get at first.
Instructions from womenshealthmag.com: In a right-side plank position (A), brace your abs and reach your left hand toward the ceiling (B). Slowly tuck your left arm under your body and twist forward until your torso is almost parallel to the floor (C). Return to the side plank. That's 1 rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps on each side.
- Straight leg raise
This movement is no joke! Even though leg raises are simple,it does require you to concentrate on your core and back. It really doesn't take very many reps to be effective. Your abs will be on fire after just a few reps. The key to this movement is to not let your back arch while you lower your legs. Keep your stomach tucked in and your back as close to the ground as you can keep it. This will make sure that your abs are doing the work, not your arms or back.
Instructions from realsimple.com: (A) Raise both legs toward the ceiling. Breathe in and tighten your abs. (B) Exhale and slowly lower your legs until they’re about four inches above the floor (or as low as you can go without lifting the small of your back). Pause and breathe in. Breathe out as you raise your legs to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.