Fun ab workout plan – stay motivated with daily routines to music

Last updated on May 20th, 2022 at 08:49 am

Here’s a fun ab workout plan to tone up all your ab muscles without getting bored. There are 6 routines – one for each day with a rest on Sundays. They’re designed to be done to music, with each routine being around 1 track long. You can download a printable of the exercises and the routines at the end of the post.

Fun ab workout routines (see exercise instructions below)

Fun ab workout plan

Notes on doing the workouts

Please read these general safety instructions before you start. Please also note that plank holds involve static muscle contractions and as such are not suitable for anyone with high blood pressure.

You should choose music tracks that have a speed of around 115-125bpm. You can check the speed of most tracks here.

You’ll be more comfortable on a cushioned surface. If you don’t have an exercise mat, then use a folded blanket or quilt.

Monday – do routine x 2 with 16 count rest in between

Monday crunch

Fun abs workout Monday

Monday’s routine is a simple crunch/reverse crunch routine.  Start with 16 reps of each, then 2 sets of 8 reps of each and back to 16 reps – do this through twice, resting for 16 beat counts in between.

Tuesday – do routine x 3

Tuesday

Fun abs workout Tuesday

Tuesday’s routine starts with 16 reps of bicycle crunches and oblique crunches, then an elbow plank on each side, holding for 32 beats.  Do this one 3 times.

Wednesday – do routine x 2 with 16 count rest in between

Wednesday

Fun abs workout Wednesday

In this combination, although the exercises change, the basic plank position is held throughout. To give your arms and shoulders a break, there’s a 16 count rest in the middle as well as between the 2 repetitions of the whole routine.

Thursday – repeat x 4

Thursday

Fun abs workout Thursday

Thursday’s routine is a simple routine, all done with the legs extended straight. Repeat the routine 4 times.

Friday – repeat x 2

Friday

Fun abs workout Friday

Friday’s routine consists of decreasing hold times of elbow planks. Once you’ve done the 8 count holds, start again with 32 counts.

Saturday – repeat x 3

Saturday

Fun abs workout Saturday

Just 2 exercises in Saturday’s routine, repeat this one 3 times.

Sunday – rest day!

Exercise instructions

Crunches

Crunches

  1. Lie with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip distance apart.
  2. Put your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows wide to the side.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles and curl your spine smoothly away from the floor.
  4. Stop when your shoulder blades have left the floor and start to reverse the movement. Again, it should be a smooth, curling movement on the way down.

Reverse crunches

Reverse crunch

  1. Start by extending your legs so that they are vertical.
  2. Engage your lower abs as you curl your lower spine off the mat in a smooth curling movement.
  3. When your lower back has left the floor, start to reverse the movement – curl your spine back down under control.

Bicycle crunch

Bicycle crunch

  1. The start position is with your knees bent, feet in the air and your hands behind your head.
  2. Bring your right knee towards your upper body and, at the same time, lift your left shoulder off the floor and reach your left elbow towards your right knee.
  3. Lower your shoulder as you extend your leg.
  4. Repeat on the other side and continue alternating side to side.

Oblique crunch

Oblique crunch

  1. Lie with your back flat on the floor, knees bent, feet lifted and your hands behind your head, as shown.
  2. Curl your head and right shoulder off the floor in a smooth movement , directing your right elbow towards your left knee.
  3. As you return to the floor, make sure the movement is smooth and controlled.
  4. Repeat on the other side and continue alternating side to side.

Side elbow plank

Side elbow plank

  1. Lay on your side, with your legs extended in a straight line.
  2. Take your forearm to 90º with your body and curl your hand into a fist to help support your weight.
  3. Engage your core muscles and lift your upper body so that your forearm is supporting you, making sure your shoulder is directly above your elbow.
  4. Hold this position.

Full plank

Full plank

  1. Start in an all-4s kneeling position.
  2. Straighten one leg out behind you, with the toes on the floor.
  3. Engage your core strongly and extend the other leg behind
  4. Your body should be making a straight line – if possible check in a mirror or ask someone else to check.
  5. Now hold this position.

Mountain climber

Fun ab workouts mountain climber

  1. Get into an all-4s position on the floor. Make sure your hands are directly below your shoulders.
  2. Take your legs out behind, keeping your back slightly curved.
  3. Now bring one knee at a time in towards your arms.

Knee to opposite arm mountain climber

Mountain climber 2

This is the same as the mountain climber, except that you cross your knee over towards the opposite arm.

Straight leg crunch

Straight leg crunch

  1. Start with your hands behind your head and your legs vertical.
  2. Curl your head and shoulders off the floor in a smooth, controlled movement.
  3. Return to the starting position, again in a smoothed controlled way.

Hand to opposite foot straight leg curl

Fun abs workout straight leg crunch

  1. Start with your legs vertical and your hands by your side.
  2. Curl your head and shoulders off the floor as you reach with your right hand to your left foot.
  3. Return to the starting position, then curl up again, this time reaching your left hand to your right foot.
  4. Continue to curl up alternating sides.

Elbow plank

Elbow plank

  1. Kneel on the floor.
  2. Lean forwards and put your forearms on the floor, making sure your shoulders are directly above your elbows.
  3. Have your palms facing, curled into a fist.
  4. Straighten one leg out behind you, with the toes on the floor.
  5. Engage your core strongly and extend the other leg behind.
  6. Your body should be making a straight line – if possible check in a mirror or ask someone else to check.
  7. Now hold this position for the given time.
  8. Then lower the knees to the floor and rest.

Legs raised crunch

Fun abs workout LEGS RAISED CRUNCH

  1. Start with your legs raised at bent at 90º, hands behind your head.
  2. Curl off the floor in a smooth, controlled movement.
  3. Curl back down again, keeping the movement smooth and controlled.

Get the fun ab workout printable PDF

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Ab workouts FAQ

Last updated on May 20th, 2022 at 08:42 am

The stock answer to this is that you can’t get rid of fat from a specific area. This  is repeated frequently and emphatically by almost everyone involved in fitness. Given that it’s the go-to answer, you would think that there’s a pile of evidence to support it. In fact, the evidence is surprisingly weak. On the other hand, there’s no evidence that you can exercise to burn fat from a specific area either.

What we do know for sure is that our bodies have preferred places to store fat – and the abdominal area is one of them. So you’re not likely to have a fat-free belly until you’re a healthy weight. The best way to be a healthy weight is of course to have a healthy diet and to exercise regularly. Any exercise helps with weight control.

Even if it doesn’t burn belly fat, regular ab exercise will make a difference though. The deep core muscles pull the abdominal area flat and having a strong core can make a real difference. In fact it’s often the case that what people think is fat is just poor muscle tone allowing the abdomen to protrude.

So, the best things you can do to look slimmer around your middle are to make sure you’re a healthy weight and do some core training.

Plank holds have been an enormously popular abs exercise for years now. This is probably due to the buzz surrounding the exercise in the form of challenges and extreme hold times, rather than being due to its merits as an effective exercise.

Done correctly, the plank will engage the deepest abdominal muscle, the transverse abdominis (TA). This is the one that plays the biggest part in pulling the abdominal area in flat, as well as playing an important role in pelvic and spinal stability. It’s a challenging exercise and most people will struggle to hold the correct position for more than a minute. These are the good points. However, the plank has its drawbacks:

  • Doing it with correct technique is difficult for those who are not used to core training. To be effective, the back and legs must form a straight line (like a plank). Inexperienced exercisers fail to do this.
  • It’s a static exercise (ie the muscles are held contracted). There are two problems with static exercises. One is that the muscles are only worked in one position and the other is that it causes blood pressure to increase.
  • It’s not functional – we do nothing vaguely resembling the plank in every day life. If we want to train our TA to engage when we’re active, then holding it in a static contraction isn’t the best way.

So should you do plank holds? Yes, it’s good to add them to your abs routine sometimes or to do a plank challenge for variety. But you should make sure your technique is correct and you shouldn’t waste your workout time trying to build up excessively long holds.

As with most “best exercise” questions, the answer depends on what you’re trying to achieve. The two main goals people have are flat abs and 6 pack abs. To have a flat abdominal area you need to train the deeper abdominal muscles. This is done by doing core stabilising exercises. The 6 pack muscles are the top layer of ab muscles and are trained by crunches and similar exercises – any exercise in which the upper body and lower body come closer together against a resistance.  If you want to train all your ab muscles, bicycle crunches are a good all-round exercise.

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