21 Best Ever Ab Moves You Can Do Anywhere

If you want strong, defined abs, spending all day at the gym doing crunches won’t cut it. So, save yourself some time! Instead, try doing just a few of these best ab moves and you’ll get faster, better results. Since these 21 exercises are more effective, you can work less and still see improvement in your muscle definition.

Try ending your workout with 5 to 10 of these exercises, two to three times per week. These best ab moves have got your back!


1. Bent Leg Jackknife Crunch
Jackknife crunches are great, since they work your upper and lower abs at the same time. If you’ve never done these before, you might be sore for a few days.

Recommended: 3 sets of 20 reps


2. Straight Leg Jackknife Crunch
This variation is a little more intense, so it provides an extra workout for your muscles. If you’re ready for a jacknife challenge, just switch from the bent leg jackknife to the straight leg.

Recommended: 3 sets of 15 reps


3. Russian Twist
Russian twists are great for targeting your obliques, the muscles running along the sides of your torso. The twisting motion helps strengthen your abs, so this move creates lean definition.

Recommended: 3 sets or 40 reps


4. Russian Twist with Raised Feet
If you’re ready to crank up the intensity of your Russian twist, raise your feet a few inches above the ground. The slight variation activates different muscles, so you’ll have all-over strong abs.

Recommended: 3 sets of 30 reps


5. Side Bend
These side bends look easy, but they require a lot of core strength to keep your body steady and stable.

Recommended: 3 sets of 8 reps on each side


6. Pilates Star
Just like side bends, the Pilates star is harder than it looks. It will take all your ab strength just to hold yourself up.

Recommended: 3 sets of 3 reps on each side


7. Lying Leg Raises
This deceptively simple exercise is actually one of the best ab moves available. It engages your lower abs throughout the entire move, yet won’t strain your neck.

Recommended: 3 sets of 20 reps


8. Leg Lifts
A slightly harder variation are these leg lifts. By driving your hips off the ground, you are also engaging your upper abdominals.

Recommended: 3 sets of 15 reps


9. Wood Chop Sit Ups
Work your obliques and lower abs with this twisting sit up. If you don’t have dumbbell, you can complete this move without any weights, or with a small, heavy object you have at home.

Recommended: 3 sets of 12 reps each side


10. Bicycle Crunch
As a child, you might have done this exercise just for fun. Capture your playful side and engage your core with this move.

Recommended: 3 sets of 40 reps


11. Dumbbell Twist
This standing ab move works your obliques, as well as your transverse abdominals. The transverse abdominals run along the inside of your ab muscles, and they act as the body’s natural corset. If you want a cinched waist, these are the muscles you should be targeting.

Recommended: 3 sets of 20 reps on each side


12. Scissor Lifts
This move is particularly good for your lower abs. The quick scissoring motion forces your muscles to engage in order to control your legs, so it’s a great exercise that really burns!

Recommended: 3 sets of 40 reps


13. Dumbbell Side Bend
Grab a dumbbell that is heavy enough to challenge you. Ideally, you want a weight with which you can maintain proper form, without it being too easy to finish all your reps. You want to feel the burn around the last two to three reps. If it’s too easy, grab something a little heavier.

Recommended: 3 sets of 15 reps on each side


14. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers don’t just work your abs. They’re also great for your arms and shoulders. Additionally, mountain climbers get your heart pumping, meaning they will help you burn up calories.

Recommended: 3 sets of 40 reps


15. Windshield Wipers
Target those side muscles with windshield wipers. And this move is also good for loosening a tight back. Use it as a workout and stretching combo.

Recommended: 3 sets of 15 reps on each side


16. Heel Touches
Reach side to side to really target your obliques and transverse abdominals. To get the most out of this move, try going as fast as you can while maintaining proper form.

Recommended: 3 sets of 40 reps


17. Dead Bug
Don’t let the name fool you. This exercise is a serious workout for upper and lower abs.

Recommended: 3 sets of 10 reps on each side


18. Toe Touch
This intense ab move will challenge you to keep steady while working your lower, upper, and side muscles.

Recommended: 3 sets of 12 reps


19. Boat Pose
If you enjoy the relaxing nature of yoga, you might like to try this move. The boat pose challenges your abs, making them hold you steady. If you can’t help but shake a little, don’t worry! That means it’s working!

Recommended: 3 sets of 30 seconds


20. Plank
Whether you love them or hate them, you have probably encountered planks before. Planks are some of the most basic, yet most effective exercises out there. So, embrace the plank!

Recommended: 3 sets of 45 seconds


21. Side Plank
As you would expect, the side plank is great for targeting the muscles on your sides. However, it also engages other ab muscles involved in strength and stability.

Recommended: 3 sets of 45 seconds on each side