The best ab workouts — free ab workouts you can do from anywhere

a photo of a woman doing the best ab workout at home
(Image credit: Westend61)

From the 10-minute ab workout routines that you can squeeze into your lunch break, to longer abs sessions with dumbbells, if you're looking for one of the best ab workouts you've come to the right place. Here, we've found some of the best ab workouts out there and given them a go, so we can give you some tips before you unroll your exercise mat. (If you’re in the market for a new exercise mat, we’ve found the best yoga mats to do your home workouts on here).  

Of course, it’s important to note that abs aren’t just made on the mat. In fact, no matter how many sit-ups or crunches you do, if you’re not fueling your workouts correctly, you’re unlikely to get the results you crave. You also can’t target specific muscles when it comes to fat loss; instead, fat loss is achieved by limiting the number of calories you eat and increasing the number of calories you burn, and losing belly fat is often achieved with full-body exercises. Here's more on how to calculate your body fat percentage, and why it matters. 

That said, far from just being an aesthetic goal, losing belly fat is a good way to improve your overall health: research has linked larger waist sizes to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, as well as some cancers. A stronger core can also help you run faster and help prevent lower back pain. Looking to get stronger, here’s the best ab workouts out there:

10-minute ab workouts

There's a reason why so many people are searching for a 10-minute ab workout — you don't need to spend hours sculpting your core to get a good workout. These workouts are often straight to the point, without any breaks, but remember, you’ve probably spent longer in line at Starbucks — you’ve got this! 

Ab workout with weights

If you're really looking to challenge yourself, or you're looking for an abs workout you can do in the gym, why not add weights to the mix? (No weights? No problem — we've found the best adjustable dumbbells for working out at home here). 

Remember to control your ego with this one and select a weight that feels heavy, but not too heavy. The movements should be slow and controlled and don't be afraid to drop down to a lower weight if you're losing your form at any point. 

Chloe Ting ab workout

There's no wonder Chloe Ting's ab workouts get viewed millions of times — they work. Our top Chloe Ting ab workout is part of Ting’s two-week shred challenge, which involves following four of her workouts a week, for two weeks, to see results. The shred challenge includes a 13-minute HIIT workout, the abs workout we tried, another abs and core workout, and a lower body workout. We added it to our workout schedule for two weeks and noticed a real difference in our abs (they also ached, a LOT). 

Daisy Keech ab workout

Daisy Keech ab workout gets an average of 90,000 searches per month and Keech's workouts have a serious following. The YouTuber has put together a set of exercises designed to clinch the waist and target the lower abs. 

We've hand-picked some of the best Daisy Keech ab workouts here, but a reminder: Keech often leaves the oblique muscles out of her workouts, and this isn't something we'd recommend doing, so don't just focus on these works alone.

Pamela Reif ab workout

Pamela Reif's ab workouts are popular for a few reasons — she's an excellent instructor, her videos are clear and easy to follow along to, and they get results, fast. You can read what happened when our fitness editor did Pamela Reif ab workouts everyday for a week here, or find some of our favorite Pamela Reif ab workouts below.

Ab workout challenge

If you're looking for an ab workout challenge to blast your core and kick-start your workout routine, we've tried plenty. The links below are a mix of organized challenges, and ones we've come up with ourselves. You can thank us later. 

Celebrity ab workouts

Of course, when it comes to ab inspiration, you don't often have to look much further than some of Hollywood's most famous faces. If you'd like to peek into the personal training plans of some of your favorite film stars, take a look at the celebrity ab workouts we've tried below. 

Pilates ab workouts

Pilates is a “mind-body” exercise, developed in the 20th Century by a man named Joseph Pilates. It’s low-impact, so suitable for all levels of fitness, and works on improving your strength, posture, and structural alignment. It's also super-effective when it comes to targeting your core. Take a look at some of the best Pilates exercises to add to your next ab workout below. 

Standing ab workout

If you're moving your ab workouts outside as the weather gets nicer and don't fancy lying on the ground, or you physically find it difficult getting down to the ground, a standing ab workout is a good way to go. We've found some of the best standing ab workouts below:

More from Tom's Guide

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy. 

With contributions from