Build definition in your abs and strengthen your core using just four moves

These four no-equipment exercises help carve out definition in your abs and build core muscle

Man performs a plank doing a home workout
(Image credit: Getty)

If you hate doing ab workouts and are always talking your way out of doing one then perhaps it's time you found some ab exercises that you actually enjoy doing. It's a bonus if your workout doesn't take much time to complete, just like this four-move, no-equipment ab and core session.

This routine combines exercises specially designed to target the abdominal muscles, also known as your six-pack muscles, and uses core strengthening exercises to build muscle and help to improve your stability and posture. As with most of the best workouts for abs, you will be on the floor for the majority of the routine, so grab yourself one of the best yoga mats to protect your back while you move.

Personal trainer Lisa Lanceford (opens in new tab) will lead you through each move and show you how to practice proper form for each exercise. The correct form helps to ensure that you are hitting the right muscles in your workouts, can prevent injuries from occurring, and should help boost your results.

If you aren't sure whether or not you're hitting the correct muscles in your core while completing this workout, Lanceford has included small illustrations of the body that highlight in red exactly where you should feel the exercise target.

Watch Lisa Lanceford's Four Move Ab & Core Routine

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You will repeat three rounds of each exercise, but the number of reps and duration that you will spend on each exercise varies in this routine as some moves are more demanding than others. We've listed the routine in full below for you to refer to:

  • Military plank 3 x 30 seconds
  • Crunches 3 x 15 reps
  • Dip bar oblique tucks 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Supported V-sit variation 3 x 10-12 reps

The ab and core muscles are often mistaken for being the same thing but your abs are in fact just one muscle group existing inside the core, which accounts for all of the muscles surrounding your trunk. You can benefit from working both so it's a win-win when a workout includes exercises for targeting your core and abs.

When you train the core your core muscles learn to work in harmony and more efficiently. As a result, you should notice improvements in things like stability, balance, and posture. These are all things that can help you progress with activities like weight lifting (especially if you're trying to learn how to deadlift properly) or across other sports like running. A stronger core will also make everyday tasks easier.

Meanwhile, exercises that target your abdominals will help to carve out visible definition across these muscles in your stomach. If you struggle to gain noticeable results from doing ab exercises you should consider adding some fat-burning workouts into your training regime, such as this HIIT workout for fat loss

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.