Alternative Workouts for the Best Abs Ever

You're probably in pursuit of the perfect six-pack. Truthfully, who isn't?

Unfortunately, attaining the elusive bathing suit body of your dreams isn't something that comes from exercise alone. To truly acquire a six pack, you'll need a tough ab routine, a laser focus on your nutrition, and a consistent total-body training program. But even if you're not ready to dial in your eating plan, by performing these 10 suggested workouts regularly, you're pretty much guaranteed to develop the best abs ever...even if they're still hidden under a layer of extra fat.

You see, strong abs (and a strong core, in general), are good for more than just showing off your midsection at the beach. A strong core is vital for transferring energy between your upper and lower body, reducing the likelihood of injury (particularly to the low back), maintaining balance and coordination, and improving overall athletic performance. In other words, a strong, healthy core (which includes the muscles from your glutes to your shoulders) is a worthwhile pursuit, regardless of how you look in a swimsuit.

To get started, try the following 10 whole-body, core-engaging routines to challenge and strengthen your abs, low back, hips, shoulders, and glutes. And if you're feeling really motivated, start cleaning up your diet—the combination of proper nutrition and regular exercise will reveal the tight, toned abs you've been working so hard to achieve.


Quick, Full-Body TRX Suspension Training Workout

TRX Plank Progressions
Eric Giroux

Suspension training introduces instability into traditional bodyweight exercises, requiring greater core strength. A basic pushup gets a whole lot harder when your feet are suspended in moving straps.


4 Active Resistance Exercises to Maximize Core Strength

ActivMotion Side Bend

The ActivMotion Bar is a hollow bar with weighted steel balls inside. When you perform exercises with the bar, the balls roll, and your core has to engage to accommodate the constantly shifting weight.


6 StrongBoard Balance Exercises for Balance, Stability and Core Strength

StrongBoard Balance Bridges
StrongBoard Balance

Using a balance board like the StrongBoard Balance to perform squats, lunges, and pushups during a workout routine also requires greater core engagement to maintain balance throughout each movement.


BOSU Balance Trainer and Stability Ball Workout

Stability Ball and BOSU Balance Trainer
Getty Images/Anthony Mayatt

When it comes to core strength, balance training is a phenomenal way to engage your abs, hips and low back without doing a single crunch. Grab a stability ball or a BOSU ball to try these challenging exercises.


6-Move Skateboard Workout

Side Lunge on a Skateboard. Ky Evans

You don't have to have access to fancy gym equipment to do a challenging core routine. Grab your child's skateboard and put it to use with these rolling exercises that will require intense core engagement to maintain your balance and control your movements.


Barre-Inspired Core Tune Up from Physique57

Small V Tuck Punch
Physique 57

Barre workouts are particularly focused on increasing core strength through the hips, glutes, and abs by performing small, isolating exercises. Try this tough workout from Physique57 to get a feel for the experience.


Use Glider Discs to Strengthen Your Core on the Go

Glider Discs Header Image
Amanda Stockwell/Robin M. Gillespie

When you're traveling, glider discs are the perfect solution for a core-strengthening, body-toning routine. Like the suspension trainer and skateboard workouts above, your core must engage to control your body while performing exercises with glider discs. This full-body routine is guaranteed to challenge you.


6-Exercise Swing Workout to Do at the Park

Swing pike shoulder press. Laura Williams

Swings are like the original suspension trainers. Learn how to use a swing to whittle your middle and strengthen your core while playing at the park with your kids.


SPIDERBANDS Resistance Workout You Can Try at Home

Franci Cohen

SPIDERBANDS is a workout program currently only available in New York City, but this SPIDERBANDS-inspired home-based alternative uses nothing more than standard resistance bands. Grab two of equal resistance for this whole-body, core-engaging routine.


Full-Body Slideboard Exercises to Challenge the Core

Slideboard plank and reach. Laura Williams

Slideboards are an excellent alternative for an at-home gym because they're reasonably portable, you can use them to perform cardio and strength training exercises, and because they require constant core engagement to maintain balance while on the board.

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