Last Updated on December 29, 2021

Today I’m excited to be sharing my go-to ab exercises with you!

It feels so good to be back and working out!!! I’ve been feeling frumpy lately and a good core workout always makes me feel better. Also, because a strong core is extremely important if you want a strong back (or want to prevent) back pain.

When I was in my car accident, years ago, that wrecked my back – my doctor told me I couldn’t do crunches. I remember feeling panicked because crunches were my go-to exercise for abs.

Prior to my accident, I was a crunch queen and relied on crunches for core work… even though I hated it. But I was also a newbie trainer.

But when my doctor explained that crunches can actually create back injuries I was surprised. I’d never heard that before. (I explain why in this post about planks.)

That inspired me to get really creative with my ab workouts and I haven’t really done many crunches since that day and I’m getting better results! That’s also why you rarely see me share plain crunches in my ab workouts.

There are so many amazing ab exercises that are more effective and more fun than traditional crunches.

That’s exactly why I put together this ab workout for you made with some of the best little known ab exercises for women.


Ab Exercises


These ab exercises are effective, require zero equipment, and you can finish the entire workout in about 20 minutes flat.

I think you’re going to love it! ♥

The ab exercises can be done easily at home or the gym.  When used together in the same ab workout routine, they target every single muscle in the core muscle group.  No crunches required.

Ready to get flat, toned abs?  Let’s do this!




7 of the best Exercises for Women being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

Pin this ab workout to Pinterest so you’ll have it forever


How to do these Ab Exercises


  • Do each ab exercise until you feel the burn.
  • Once you feel the burn, do 5 more to complete one set.
  •  You’ll need to do 3 full sets of each exercise to complete the ab workout.  You can do 1 full round of each ab exercise… then do 3 full rounds.  Or you can do 3 sets of each exercise and move onto the next.  It really doesn’t matter as long as you do 3 rounds of each exercise.  
  • Don’t forget to warm up with some light cardio and cool down with some ab stretches when you’re done.

Once you’ve had a chance to try this workout, leave me a comment and let me know if you felt the burn.


Ab Exercises for A Flat, Toned, Strong Core


Bridge Ab Exercise being done by Christina Carlyle


Lie on your back on the floor with your knee hip-width apart and bent.  Squeeze your core and lift your butt up until your back is in a straight line.  Squeeze your core tightly —as if you’re about to be punched in the gut—and hold it that way.  Lift up and down as many times as you can.  If it’s too easy you can do a single-leg bridge.


Hip Dip ab Exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle


Start in a standard plank position.  While keeping your core tight, dip one hip down and to the side while keeping your spine neutral.  Only use your core muscles to lower your hip down to the side.  Then immediately reverse the movement dipping your other hip down to the opposite side, to complete one rep.  Do as many as you can.


Windshield Wiper Ab Exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle


Lie on your back with your arms to the side with palms facing down with both legs extended up towards the ceiling. This is the start position. Draw your abs in tight squeezing your belly button into the floor as you carefully lower your legs down to the left towards the floor (only go as far toward the floor as you can without dropping to the side). Lift your legs back up to the start position then back down to the right side. Return to the start position alternating sides until you feel the burn. Once you feel the burn do 5 more on each side to complete one set.

Kneeling Lean Back Ab Exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle


Start in an upright kneeling position with your legs parallel to each other and a gap about the size of a tennis ball between your knees. Extend your arms straight out in front of you. This is your starting position. Inhale as you lean back, as far as you can, keeping your neck and shoulders completely relaxed. Exhale as you bring your body back to the upright starting position to complete one rep.


Side Plank Tuck Exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle


Place your forearm on the floor under shoulder perpendicular to your body.  Stack your elbow under your shoulder. Your legs should be stacked on top of one another.  Keeping your back straight, lift your hip upward, until your body is in a straight line.  Extend your upper arm above you. This is your starting position.  Exhale as you draw your elbow down and upper knee up, bringing them together. Quickly return to the starting position. Do as many reps as you can. Then switch sides and complete the same number of reps to complete one set.


Heel Touches Ab Exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle


Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Your arms should be down by your side with your palms on the floor. Lift your shoulders off the floor. This will be your starting position. Reach one hand down towards the heel on the same side. Without lowering your shoulders down, immediately return to the start position, then repeat the movement on the other side to complete one rep.


Ball Tuck Crunch exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle


Get in a plank position with your feet balanced firmly on a stability ball. Exhale as you draw your knees in towards your chest as you use your feet and core strength to roll the ball in. Pause for a count then quickly reverse the movement extending your legs out to the start position to complete one rep.


Woohoo! That’s it. Leave me a comment to let me know if you felt the burn.

As always, this workout works…if YOU work it. So work it! You’re worth it!

If you think this workout would help someone else. Please share it.

Your Coach and Biggest Cheerleader




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