This 5-move abs workout without equipment will set your core on fire, according to its creator Senada Greca. And if you haven't heard her name before, she's Kim Kardashian's trainer and a renowned fitness entrepreneur in her own right. So, she knows a thing or two about building muscle and strengthening your core.
Greca’s abs workout can be done anywhere — just add one of the best resistance bands or a towel to make the exercises harder. “Dare you try this workout out!” Greca challenges. With currently more than 800,000 views on Instagram, we think plenty of her followers have torched core muscles by now.
You don’t need to be by a pool or in a bikini like Greca to get this ab workout done, although you could easily slot it into your vacation routine. Check out the exercises below and add weights if you need the extra intensity. Here it is.
Like most of the best abs workouts, this one challenges the various core muscles around your trunk, not just the rectus abdominis, or six-pack muscles, as they’re also known.
Watch Senada Greca’s 5-move abs workout video
Greca recommends 8-12 reps and 4 sets of each exercise as a core circuit. Check out the video below to see each move and practice your form. It might seem obvious, but keep your core braced throughout the exercises. If you’re unsure how — imagine someone is about to punch you in the stomach and tense for that impact.
Thankfully, this workout is short and sweet. Once you’ve finished the given sets — you’re done. Unlike Kim Kardashian, whose punishing new strength training workout sees her in the gym for two hours per day with Greca. Ouch.
Here are your exercises:
Hollow body alt leg raises
Tuck your pelvis toward your spine and lift your upper back off the floor — you can learn how to do a hollow hold here. Grip a resistance band or towel above your head and raise one leg at a time to touch the band. Doing leg raises while your core is under isometric contraction (when the muscles contract without moving) will light a fire in your abs.
Your obliques run down your waist, so any twisting or side-crunching exercises will target them. Lay on one side and extend your arms above your head, holding a resistance band or towel pulled tight. Look forward at all times, engage your core, then lift your upper body toward your hips. Here’s how to do a side crunch for more tips.
Lay on your back with your legs extended. Hold a band or towel overhead. Tuck your pelvis and engage your core, then slowly peel your upper back off the floor to perform crunches, always looking toward the ceiling.
Hollow body knee tuck to pike
This move is similar to reverse crunches. Start in the hollow hold position, then extend your arms overhead, holding your band or towel tight. Tuck your knees toward your chest, then push your feet through and shoot them toward the ceiling, extending both legs above your head. You should create a gentle c-shape with your spine.
V-sits with flutter kicks
Sit on your exercise mat, engage your core and slightly lean back, keeping a tall and neutral spine (you can learn how to do V-sit-ups here). Extend your arms to the side at shoulder height, then lift both legs a few inches off the floor. Begin your flutter kicks by quickly raising and lowering your legs one at a time. The move also targets and strengthens your hip flexor muscles.
Greca’s 5-move abs workout proves you don’t need gym equipment to work your core muscles hard. None of the moves reinvent the exercise wheel, but they’re tried and tested for hitting various muscles responsible for a strong torso.
If you’re a beginner, I recommend sticking to the sets and reps given. But if you need more challenges, add extra reps. If that doesn’t hit the mark, switch it up and put a time cap on each exercise. For example, I chose 5 rounds of 45 seconds per exercise. If you want to test your core strength even further, try 60 seconds per move with a rest between rounds.
I prefer using weights like dumbbells or kettlebells during ab workouts, but this was surprisingly hardcore. I didn’t expect to feel anything the next day, yet I woke up with pretty sore abs, knowing I’d hit those smaller, underused muscle groups too.
But remember, developing a more sculpted midsection requires a low body fat percentage. Everyone experiences fat loss differently, but body fat will determine how visible your abs are. It’s not all doom and gloom because there are ways to improve fat loss. Firstly, I recommend checking in with your diet, which is one determinant of how much muscle definition you can achieve.
I also recommend adding compound exercises to your strength training program, like squats or deadlifts. Although these moves aren’t considered “core” exercises, they heavily recruit these muscles to drive movement. Besides, compound moves require more energy and muscle engagement, meaning you’ll burn more calories than a sit-up or crunch.
Consider how much you move during the day. The more you stand or walk around, the more efficient your metabolism will become; this is called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) and could help boost your metabolism throughout the day.
Looking for more ab workouts in the meantime? Check out some of our favorites below.