No-equipment ab exercises should be your approach towards abdominal muscles, at least when you first begin working on your core.
While core muscles can be worked on using machines and free weights, you don’t want to skip the basics and foundations. It’s true that equipment and machine exercises might look fancier, but there's nothing better than focusing on the basics to develop your form and strengthen your core muscles.
Best No-Equipment Ab Exercises
Whether you use equipment or not, eventually it boils down to creating tension in the core muscles that pushes the muscle fibers to grow back thicker and stronger.
There are bodyweight exercises that can help you achieve the same. You do not need to bring in any form of additional assistance for these exercises.
On that note, here's a look at five such no-equipment ab workouts for men:
Crunches are the most common no-equipment ab exercises. You cannot skip crunches in any shape or form when you begin a proper ab workout routine.
When you’re doing crunches, remember that the core muscles should be doing the work and not the body’s momentum. It’s quite easy for the body and hand’s momentum to take over while doing crunches.
You can find a guide to doing crunches here.
2) Dead Bug
The dead bug is an advanced no-equipment ab exercise. You need to have proper coordination between your arms and legs when doing this exercise.
Ideally, you should start this exercise when you’ve been working on your core muscles for two weeks or so. Additionally, the dead bug can be stressful for the lower back, so it’s advised that you use a pillow underneath to avoid excess pressure on the tailbone.
3) Leg Raise
Leg raises have two variations. The basic one is where you lower your legs but not too much. That's enough to maintain pressure but doesn’t tire out the core muscles.
The advanced version, meanwhile, involves lowering the leg to a point that's slightly above the floor. That exerts more pressure on the core muscles and helps work the lower abdominal muscles too.
Here is a guide to doing leg raises.
If you want to work on one side at a time, you should pick bicycles. Even though it’s one continuous motion, it still focuses on one side at a time.
To increase the pressure while you’re doing the bicycle motion with your legs, hold up your upper body using your core muscles. Keep your hands behind your head when you’re doing this no-equipment ab exercise, but don't use your hands to push your head and upper body upwards.
One of the most effective yet exhausting no-equipment ab exercises is the planks. This exercise focuses on overall core development and helps strengthen the muscles immensely.
There are several variations of planks you can try once you’ve done basic planks. Here are some plank variations you can try.
No-equipment ab exercises only come in handy if you keep your form correct. Otherwise, an incorrect form will not lead to proper muscle development.
So instead of trying to do a high number of reps, focus on doing lower numbers while keeping your form correct. As you get better with your form, you can push up the number of reps.