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Beginner-friendly home ab workout

Gilli McCready

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Work your core with this beginner-friendly ab workout you can do at home or in the gym. This ab workout is going to target all areas of your core to help you achieve a strong sculpted core. All you will need for this beginner’s ab workout is a mat and a weighted plate.

“When I first started working out at the gym, I underestimated the importance of ab exercises, but did you know working your core has so many other benefits aside from having a toned stomach? A strong core is important for improving stability, posture and overall strength. Plus, having a strong core makes it easier to do most physical activity from a quick jog to everyday tasks like tying a shoelace so there’s more to abs than just aesthetics.” - Gilli, Personal Trainer at PureGym Belfast St Anne's Square

Beginners Flat Tummy Workout

Do each exercise for 30 seconds with a 15 second rest between each. Repeat 5 times.

Russian twist ab exercise Russian twist ab exercise

Russian Twist

Targets: Abs.

Equipment: 5kg plate

Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Lean back until your body is at a 45-degree angle with feet hovering just off the floor. Hold the 5kg plate with both hands in front of your chest.

Slowly twist your torso to the left side holding the weight. That counts as one rep. Pause and then rotate to the right side. Repeat

Up and down plank ab exercise Up down plank exercise

Up Down Plank

Targets: Abs, lower back, triceps, glutes & quads.

Hold a high plank position with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your core engaged lower your right elbow to the mat and then your left, coming into an elbow plank.

Put your right hand on the mat and straighten your right elbow. Do the same on the left to return to a full plank. That counts as one rep.

Side plank dip exercise Side plank dip exercise

Side Plank Dips

Targets: Abs, abductors, glutes & quads

Lie on your left side with legs stretched out and place your elbow on the floor directly underneath your shoulder with palm facing the ground.

Stack your feet on top of each other and lift your body up to neutral. Squeeze your core then dip your hips down toward the floor then raise them back into a side plank.  After 30 seconds repeat on the right side.

Bicycle crunches exercise Bicycle crunches exercise

Bicycle crunch

Targets: Abs.

Lie flat on the floor. Put your hands behind your head, then bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.

Straighten your right leg out to a 45-degree angle to the ground whilst twisting your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards the left knee. Switch sides and do the same motion on the other side. Repeat.

Lying leg raise exercise Lying leg raise exercise

Lying leg raise

Targets – abs, hip flexors.

Lie on the floor with your legs straight and together. Keep your legs straight and lift them up to the ceiling until your bum comes off the floor.

Slowly lower your legs back down until they are just above the floor. Hold for a second then raise your legs back up. Repeat.

High knees

High Knees

Targets - abs, calves, quads, hamstrings and shins

Stand tall with feet hip-distance apart. Quickly drive your right knee up to meet your right hand, bring the same leg back to the ground immediately bring the left knee coming up to meet your left hand. Repeat.

I would recommend training your core 2 to 3 times a week. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced gym goer these waist whittling moves will sculpt the stomach and strengthen your core. Simply perform the exercises for longer periods of time with less rest as your core gets stronger.


You will have probably come across the phrase ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ before. Training abs alone won’t necessarily guarantee you to get a flat tummy. You will also need to have a body fat low enough to have visible abs, and this will be dependent on the individual.  To lose body fat you need to be in a calorie deficit, which can be achieved through diet and training so make sure to complement your training with a healthy balanced diet that is in line with your goals.

I hope you enjoy this flat tummy workout.

Want to get some coaching from a personal trainer? Check out our personal training page which answers the most commonly asked question about personal trainers at PureGym.

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