By: Michelle Reich
By: Michelle Reich

One of the most difficult and most worked on areas of the body is the abs. Everyone wants tight, cut abs, but they can be extremely difficult to get. In addition to strong abs being considered “sexy” in today’s society, having a strong core allows for easier and more effective workouts. Every exercise that you do utilizes core muscles in some way. Having a strong core helps prevent injury and allows exercising other muscles to be more beneficial for the other muscles. Different trainers and different sports work the core of your body in different ways. My friend Chris Hawkins does MMA and it has given him extremely cut and strong abs. I run and do an ab workout almost every day. Despite not having the same cut as Chris, I have strong abs that help me build stamina as I run. Chris and I decided to mesh the hardest parts of our individual ab workouts to create an intense, but still short, ab workout. Our combined ab workout takes only about 15 minutes and works the upper and lower abs as well as your obliques. As you continue doing this workout and it becomes easier, raise the repetitions on each exercise. This way you can tone your abs, get a great workout, and see how much you have improved as the weeks go on.

100 Crunches

30 Dead Horse Crunches

50 side Crunches (per side)

30 Bikes (1 rep is after one full “cycle”)

25 V-Ups

60 Leg Raises

25 Side to Side Leg Raises

20 Push-Ups


Crunches are the first ab exercise in this workout and are a way to warm up your abs as you begin to work them. Start in back on the ground with your legs bent. Lift up about ½ to ¾ of the way to a full sit up. No matter when you change your reps for other exercises in this workout, always keep this one at 100 reps.

Dead Horse Crunches

Start with your back flat and your arms and legs straight up above you. Lift your arms and shoulders until they touch your feet.

Side Crunches

Start lying on your back, with your shoulders on the ground, and your legs bent and to one side. Flex your shoulders and arms up while keeping your knees as close together as possible. If you let your knees come far apart, this exercise will not work your obliques and will turn into a regular crunch.


Start lying on your back with your hands behind your head and one leg bent up perpendicular with your chest and the other straight in front of you a couple inches off of the ground. Touch the knee with the opposite elbow. Switch your legs and touch the opposite knee with the opposite elbow. Keep your feet flexed at all times. You get the most out of this exercise if you perform it slowly.


Start lying on your back with your arms pointing to the ceiling. Lift your shoulders up to touch your feet with your legs still on the ground. As your upper half rolls back to the ground, lift your legs up about 6 inches off the ground. As your shoulders make contact with the ground again, pulse both your legs and shoulders up and touch your toes again before returning back to your starting position. That is one rep.

Leg Raises

Start lying on your back with your hands at your sides. Lift your legs until they are 6 inches off the ground and hold them for about 2 seconds. Lower them back to the ground. Repeat.

Side to Side Leg Rises

Start lying on your back with your hands at your side. Lift your legs about 6 inches off of the ground and slowly move them back and forth. Every time you get back to the side that you started on, it counts as a rep. You can get the most of this exercise if you perform it slowly.


Start with your arms underneath your shoulders. Lower your upper body down until your chest is about 3 inches off of the ground. Push back and return to your starting position.

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