8 Exercises To Get Your Dream Summer Abs (2024)

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

With the summer quickly approaching, many young adult girls like me are in desperate need of a quick yet effective ab workout routine to help us feel confident for the upcoming days of sunshine. However, just finding the perfect routine can be time consuming since so many content creators come up with different exercises that may or may not give the result we want for the summer. Rather than wasting your time scrolling through hundreds of Instagram reels or TikTok of workout routines, I have created a simple yet effective ab workout routine that you can customize to match your skill level. Now enough talk let’s look at 8 exercises that you can start doing today to get you the abs you have always wished for!

1: Bicycles

This exercise is a go to ab burner that will give you the toned obliques like no other exercise can do. Simply lay on your back with your hands behind your head and lift both of your legs off the ground keeping your knees locked. Then alternate bending one knee to your chest and simultaneously twisting the upper part of your body so that your opposite elbow touches the knee of the bent leg. Go back to the start position and do the same bend and twist with the other leg and elbow. You can go at whatever pace you want when you are alternating sides, but the longer the pause, the more burn you will feel in your abs.

2: Russian Twist

The next exercise is also great for targeting those oblique muscles. Start by sitting on your bottom and having your back straight and legs bent out in front of you. Then proceed to twist the upper portion of your body to one side and then to the other. To make this exercise more difficult, you can lift your feet off the ground and then eventually add weight by transferring a medicine ball to each side as you twist. As the last exercise, if you pause at the far twisted point on each side, you will feel a more intense burn which means you are working that ab harder.

3: In and outs

This exercise will target both your upper and lower abs creating an overall burn sensation! Start by sitting on your bottom in about the same position as the Russian Twists but instead put both of your hands on the ground behind you with your fingers facing your bottom. Then lift your legs straight and hovering the ground as you bend your elbows and lean your back towards the ground. Pause in this position and then start bending your knees towards your chest while also bringing your chest to your knees. Repeat this in and out motion, hence the name, until you really feel the burn. Sometimes this exercise could cause some back pain, but this is just a sign that you are not doing the movement correctly. To fix this problem, make sure you are intentionally squeezing your abs and keeping your back as in a good enough posture throughout the exercise.

4: Reverse crunches

Another great exercise that you should do is reverse crunches. These bad boys will make you start gritting your teeth, but they will also make you have gorgeous abs. All you have to do is lay on your back with your arms to your sides and your knees bent in front of you. You will then raise your knees to your chest but keep them bent at a 90-degree angle so that it looks like you are sitting in a chair, but you are actually on the ground. Bring your legs back in forth in that motion while clenching your abs to really feel the burn. I recommend for better results that you do not have your feet touch the ground each time you come to the downwards motion.

5: Dead bug extensions

Now this exercise, in my opinion, is fun to do but may require some brain power if you have trouble coordinating your limbs to go in opposite directions. So, start in the same upward position as the reverse crunches, (remember where it looks like you are sitting in a chair, but you are actually on the ground), but instead of your hands beside you on the ground, lift them straight in the air above your head. You should now look like a dead bug, makes sense now right. Here is the tricky part, but if you do it right, you will feel the great sensational burn. To execute the extension aspect, bring one of your arms to the ground while you simultaneously straighten the opposite leg of the arm and bring it to the ground. Then come back to center and do the same motion with the other arm and leg. Make sure to squeeze your abs through the extension to really define the muscles.

6: Starfish

The starfish is a great exercise for both beginners and advanced level ab work outers. Simply lay on your back in a starfish position. Then lift one arm and twist your upper body as you lift the opposite leg, keeping it straight, towards that arm. Your two limbs should touch in the middle then be brought back to center so you could repeat this motion for the other side. There are a couple of variations such as you can target one side by continuously only raising the same arm and leg until you are ready to switch to continuously raising the other arm and leg. Another variation for the more advanced level is where you can have both of your legs and arms remain hovering over the ground while you execute the twist motion.

7: Hip dips

Now back to our obliques! This exercise can be difficult, but it will give you beautiful looking abs if you stick with it and do it correctly. Get in a plank position which is where the only things touching the ground are your forearms and the toes of your feet. You should keep a flat back and make sure your bottom is not too high or too low in the air. Then you will alternate dipping your hip to one side, back to center, then to the other side while squeezing your abs the whole time. Try not to dip your pelvis too much towards the ground as you will be defeating the purpose in this exercise.

8: Leg lifts

Now we are coming to the last exercise that I would recommend you try before Summer takes over. This one just lay on your back with your legs straight on the ground and your arms beside your body. Then proceed to lift your legs keeping them straight and up in the air until they are perpendicular to the upper portion of your body. Bring them back and forth but try not to have your legs hit the ground, just hover, for the best results.

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