You only need five moves to tone your abs and build core strength

These bodyweight exercises will help you carve out abs and develop core muscle strength

Couple complete and ab and core workout together
(Image credit: Getty)

A set of sit-ups a day won't carve out a six-pack for you, no matter how long you keep it up for. This is because there is more than one area to your abdominal muscles and the abs only account for a section of the core muscle group. So, it's a good idea to establish a series of exercises that target both your abs and core muscles to start noticing significant results.

This routine includes a mixture of the best workouts for abs and core strengthening exercises so that you are able to develop core strength and help to define all areas of your abs. 

It's an equipment-free workout so you won't need any weights or bands but it's wise to place one of the best yoga mats underneath you for extra padding and support on your joints and back.

Yoga mats are useful for all kinds of workouts whether you need one for your ab workouts, Pilates class, or for a softer landing while working through a HIIT workout for fat loss. Plus, you can nearly always find exercise mats for fairly cheap like the ones on offer below.

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C.Park Fitness TPE Yoga Mat |Was $29.95, now $13.00 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This double-sided mat is made from eco-friendly TPE materials making it an earth-friendly option. Its double-layer design features two different grippy materials to provide you with stability and comfort while you move.

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Gaiam Print Yoga Mat | Was $34.99, now $26.63 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
This lightweight Gaiam yoga mat has been made extra thick and with a non-slip texture to support your joints while stretching and exercising. It also comes with a free downloadable yoga workout — grab one now while it's 24% cheaper!

Once you have the right support for working on the floor you are ready to try fitness trainer, and co-founder of workout app EvolveYou, Krissy Cela's (opens in new tab) five-move ab and core routine. Cela uses her online platforms to help people with strength training, bodybuilding, and increasing muscular endurance. So this ab routine is worthwhile trying if you want to see more muscle definition around your midsection.

She demonstrates five exercises that target all areas of your abs. "I wanted to show you exercises that you’ll be seeing during your abs challenge that will help you target all areas!", notes Cela. 

Watch Krissy Cela's Five Move Ab and Core Workout

A post shared by Krissy Cela (@krissycela) (opens in new tab)

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Four of the main major muscles that make up your abdominals (also known as the six-pack muscles) are the rectus abdomen, transverse, internal obliques, and the external obliques. If you're curious to find out which of Cela's exercises work what, we've listed this below for you.

  • Rectus abdomen: Crunch sit-ups
  • Tranverse: Commandos
  • Internal obliques: Side plank dips
  • External obliques: Reverse mountain climbers
  • Russian twists work all four

Everyone's genetics and body compositions differ, therefore, the visibility of your abs can vary too. Unfortunately, exercises like the ones above can't build abs on their own. You need to reduce your subcutaneous and visceral fat in order to see your abs. It's a good idea to read up on what to eat to lose belly fat as trying to consume fewer calories than you burn can help out so long as you do this safely and avoid depriving your body of nutrients.

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.