Summer is basically everyone’s favorite time of year unless, like us, you work in a 9-to-5 office in which you spend your days alternately stuffing your face with donuts, bagels and other non-bikini-friendly foods. Luckily, there’s still time to get our abs in good shape. Here, 10 moves from experts at studios like Barry’s Bootcamp and Y7 that’ll get your tummy toned in no time.
Get In Shape, Now
Sarah Levey, Founder, Y7
Purvottanasana (Reverse Plank Pose)
"Everyone is familiar with the super-tough plank pose and how beneficial it is for your abs and body as a whole. One of my favorite ways to switch up this classic move while still engaging the core is reverse plank. Start in a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hands about a foot behind your butt, fingertips facing your feet. Using your abs pull your body up into a straight line. Hold here for at least 10 breaths. The key to mastering this is to keep your body in a straight line, so you have to pull up through the abdominals and lengthen your obliques."
Sign up for Y7 classes here.
Astrid Swan, Trainer, Barry's Bootcamp
"My favorite ab move is using my legs to trace giant circles. Start by lying down with your hands under your lower back for support. Lift up the shoulder blades and glue your legs together. Use your feet to draw a giant circle in one direction 10 times, and then trace the same circle in reverse 10 times. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg. Do three rounds. Be sure to keep your lower back pressed down and keep space between your chin and chest."
Sign up for Barry's Bootcamp classes here.
Keely Ahrold, Trainer, ModelFit
Oblique Side Plank
"With a straight spine, stack one foot on the other and balance on your right hand. Dip your hips to the ground and lift right back up to start. Scoop your belly in and up, allowing your shoulders to draw down your back."
Bicycle Legs With Arm Pumps
"Start flat on your back with knees in a tabletop position. Reach your arm in front of you as you curl your head and shoulders off the floor. Begin to switch your legs right and left while you pump your arms like you're slapping water with open palms. Be sure to pull the spine and belly inward and look into your belly to curl higher."
Sign up for ModelFIT classes here.
Deja Riley, Trainer, BoxUnion
"One of the biggest misconceptions around boxing is that it only works your arms, but how do you think those champions get their goal-worthy abs in the ring? At BoxUnion, we love to throw slips into our combinations throughout class to give our boxers an authentic workout, while building their obliques and keeping that body rocking.
Take a nice wide boxer's stance, pull the elbows tight into the body, make two tight fists and rest those fists on your cheeks. Now you are ready to slip—from back to front. When slipping to the back, drop that front shoulder into a slight crouching, crunch position and move the head out of the way toward the back leg as you bend those knees. As you slip to the front, drop that back shoulder, slightly rotate that back foot, bend those knees while moving the head out of the way toward the front leg. Keep these mini oblique crunches going from side to side as you slip back and slip front. Not only are you learning a skill and having fun, but you are building those summertime abs just as efficiently as any floor crunch."
Sign up for BoxUnion classes here.
Tanya Becker, Co-Founder, Physique57
"One of my favorite moves to target the abs (without doing a crunch!) is plank-five with a friend. All you have to do is grab a friend and line up in plank facing each other. Make sure that your abs are engaged and that your feet are a little wider than your hips. Key: Decide which hand goes first! If you’re going right then make sure your friend goes left. High-five, then repeat on the other side. Try to repeat 10 times per side.
You always have more energy and fun when you hold yourself accountable to another person. Plus, you're holding your entire body weight with one arm, which is tremendous for your entire core and for stabilization."
Sign up for Physique57 classes here.
Heather Andersen, Founder, New York Pilates
"Begin on your back, knees in tabletop, low spine in neutral (a little space under your back). Bring hands behind the head and use an exhale to curl head, neck and shoulders up off the floor.
Rotate the left elbow toward the right knee, optionally extending the left leg long. Keep the head and neck high as you switch to the other side. Pro tip: Think about rotating from the rib cage and challenge yourself to keep your hips and pelvis completely still. Repeat 10 times on each side."
"Begin on your back, knees in tabletop, low spine in neutral, hands reaching long by your sides. Inhale, and as you exhale nod and curl your head and chest up. Begin to pump your arms up and down an inch as you inhale for a count of five, exhale for five, for a total of 100 counts. For added challenge, reach your legs out straight at a 45-degree angle. Pro tip: Keep your shoulders stable as you pump the arms up and down by giving the back of your armpit a little squeeze, activating your rotator cuff muscles."
Forearm Plank Hip Drop
"Stabilize the shoulder blades, then extend both legs behind so you are holding a forearm plank with your shoulders over elbows. Next, rotate the pelvis so one hip lowers toward the floor, then bring the pelvis back to level and mirror with the other side. Be sure the rib cage remains completely still as you move the hips. Do 20 reps with alternating sides."
Sign up for New York Pilates classes here.
Jason Walsh, Founder, Rise Nation
"Hold the weight against your chest. If you're using a kettle bell, grab at the horns; if you're using a dumbbell, hold one of the heads up vertically between your palms. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder length with your toes pointed slightly out. Sit back and down, breathing in, until your elbows touch the insides of your knees, keeping your chest up the whole time. Go down as low as you can with your feet flat on the floor, feeling the weight in your heels. Initiate the upward movement, keep chest up, breathe out and squeeze the glutes at the top. Everyone says the squat is the king of workout moves because of all the muscle groups it targets. However, lots of people have issues squatting properly. The goblet squat is one of the simplest squatting moves that reinforces proper position and alignment. Make sure you're not falling forward or rounding your back.
I like the goblet squat to teach proper squatting form because the weight hugged to the chest helps keep proper alignment and better balance through the movement. Do these on opposite days of dead lifts. Three to five sets with one minute of rest."
Sign up for RiseNation classes here.