Easy Home Exercises for Abs

There is no doubt that hardcore abdominal exercises performed with medicine balls, weight machines and involving complicated movements in multiple planes may increase the strength of your abs, but they require above average physical strength and include more risk. Instead, try simple exercises that use no equipment so they can be done anywhere, including your home. Flutter kicks, bridges and lying oblique leg raises are all examples of ab exercises you can do on your living room floor.

Abdominal Flutter Kicks

The abdominal flutter kicks exercise is as simple as kicking your legs in the air, though like any exercise there are some specific guidelines that dictate how to do it correctly and effectively. The starting position is done lying on your back with your arms on the floor next to you. The legs are in the air at a 45 degree angle from the body. They are straight, but the knee joints are not locked. Raise your head off the floor and keep it up. Squeeze your abs so your lower back is flat on the ground. Then kick your legs in the air, alternating one going toward the ceiling and one toward the floor. Although your knees are bent slightly to soften the joints, do not bend them farther as you do the flutter kicks. Continue kicking your legs for the desired amount of time or reps.

Lying Oblique Leg Raises

The lying oblique leg raises exercise targets the side abdominal muscles of the waist with a simple combination of a side leg lift and a mini side crunch. All the stomach muscles are engaged with this exercise even though the obliques get the most attention. Begin lying on your left side with your left arm on the floor in front of you. The body needs to be in a straight line on its side with the hips and shoulders stacked. The right arm is bent with the palm placed behind the head. From this position, lift your right leg straight toward the ceiling. Raise your shoulders up and toward your right hip as you raise your leg. Touch your body back to the floor. Roll over to do the exercise on the other side.

Bridge

The bridge is a static exercise, unlike the flutter kicks and oblique leg raises. The muscles of the abs hold your spine straight even though it would be easier to let your lower back sag toward the floor. Place your elbows and forearms on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Step back with your legs and come onto your toes, which are about hip-width distance apart. The head, shoulders, back and hips are parallel to the floor. The abs must be squeezed tight to maintain this bridge position. Holding this posture without moving the pelvis or relaxing the abs is the entirety of the exercise, but it works. An easier variation of the bridge exercise may be done with the knees touching the floor if necessary.

About this Author

Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.