This five-move ab workout is key for better core strength and endurance

Get the most out of training your abdominal muscles with the most effective and efficient core strengthening moves

Woman develops core strength performing the side plank
(Image credit: Getty)

Throwing in a set of crunches at the end of a workout won't do much for building core strength. But focusing a whole workout, even a short one, on certain exercises that are great for engaging the core can help strengthen your abdominals and lower back. This five-move ab workout is a great way to develop strength and endurance in your core and it requires minimal equipment.

Some of the best workouts for abs remain so popular because they rely on body weight, and can be completed at the gym or from home. Despite not requiring weights they do require a good level of perseverance, especially for the real core burners such as learning how to do a plank.

This ab-focused workout is designed to complement a strength regime that includes compound movements (exercises that work several muscles at once). Practice these exercises alongside resistance sessions that include exercises such as deadlift-and-row, dumbbell presses and squats.

Bradley Simmonds, celebrity personal trainer and online fitness influencer, explained on Instagram that compound exercises "should be your main focus when building overall strength including your core". And if you really want to target your abs then performing his top five ab moves, consistently, will boost strength and endurance in your core.

Simmonds uses a Swiss ball for one of the exercises but the best ab rollers make for a good alternative. Besides, they're more space-efficient than a large inflated yoga ball for your average home.


Simmonds is all about challenging people to reach long term, sustainable results and is what he channels into every one of his workouts. The Get It Done app, which Simmons founded, is a way of sharing the methods he uses to train his celebrity clients with anyone looking to get fitter and healthier.

The key ab exercises included in the workout above demonstrate how you don't need to spend masses of time training your abs. Instead, manageable and effective core exercise is all about finding the right movements to engage your muscles in.


  1. Dead bugs
  2. Side planks
  3. Slow climbers
  4. Eccentric sit ups
  5. Swiss ball roll outs

Simmonds pointed out in the caption that ab exercises like this won't help you lose body fat and this echoes what science has to say about this topic. In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, researchers concluded that ab training alone is not enough to reduce fat. Nonetheless, they did state that abdominal exercise training 'significantly improved muscular endurance' when they compared results with a control group.

Regular practice of core exercises such as side planks and ab roll outs will help toward improving strength in your core - an area of the body that not only enhances your performance in other activities but can prevent issues like back pain.

If fat loss is a goal you are working toward, Simmonds said that this comes from monitoring your calorie intake and overall activity levels. It's important to remember that everyone has different body types and metabolisms so there isn't one diet or exercise regime that fits all. However, you can learn how to create a calorie deficit with help from expert nutritionists in the field (and our guide above).

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. 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.