5 Movements That Target the Abs

As a trainer, one of the most requested muscle groups to target during a workout is the core, more specifically the notorious ab muscles. Lets take a look at 5 movements that do an effective job at targeting the core.

As a trainer, one of the most requested muscle groups to target during a workout is the core, more specifically the notorious ab muscles.  

Before we get into how to train the core, we must define the difference between the core and the abs. The core is the entire muscle group, spanning from the pelvic floor to the diaphragm. The abs are included in this muscle group, but they are not the entire core muscle group.

The core is an incredibly important group of muscles that plays into every movement we make, and learning how to control your core in different ways will help strengthen the entire body.

One of the most popular movements to try and target the core and more specifically the abs is the crunch or sit-up. Although this movement works, there are many others that could be more applicable to your specific needs.

Here are 5 movements that will target the abs, and core overall, more efficiently than the simple crunch.


-This core variation is a great movement if you have low back pain and could use some 

strengthening in that area. The deadbug works the entire core musculature and can also 

help with posture and making those obliques pop!

2.Paloff Press 

-This movement is a fantastic anti-rotation movement. This means that to perform the 

movement you use the core to resist rotation against tension. This helps with stability 

and creating stronger rotational force for things such as swinging a bat or golf club.

3.Knee Tuck Variations 

-Whether it be hanging from a bar, in a prone position on Carpet Gliders  or almost any 

other way you can think of to pull your knees up into the chest and rotate the pelvis. This

 works great for working the core and targeting the abs through a full range of motion.

4. Stability Ball variations  

-Stirring the pot, rocking back and forth, army crawls and side leans are all great ways to 

burn up those core muscles and really hit the abs in a variety of ways. Slow and steady 

is the key to making sure you get the most out of these movements.

5.Overhead Press  

-One movement that isn’t specifically targeting the core, however is a fantastic movement for the core as well as the whole body. This is a functional movement as it will help with your pushing strength, but also engages the core in a great way for increasing stability as well as learning how to use your core for other movements. Of the core 6 movements (Squat, Hinge, Push, Pull, Carry) the overhead press engages the core the most.

Go give these movements a shot and get ready for the core to be tight and those abs to pop!

Kade McManus

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