My Favourite Ab Circuit To Finish Off Upper Body Day!

If you, like me, don't have a soul day dedicated to only training abs (does anyone actually do this?) you will want something quick and easy to add in at the end of your upper body day to really get those abs working.

Because so many other exercise moves incorporate the use of core muscles there isn't really a need to have a full day dedicated to them, well that is how I see it anyway. Also- abs are made in the kitchen as the saying goes, but it doesn't hurt to finish off with a few moves that will ignite the fire in them. 

I did this ab circuit finisher after upper body Friday and let me tell you, it is a good one. I completed 40 seconds of each move, followed by 20 seconds rest and then moved on- and I did the circuit three times. You can change up the exercise time, the rest time, the number of rounds as you see fit. 


EXERCISE 1: Knee to Elbow

Is there a more scientific, professional name for this move? Probably. Do I know what it is? Not really. I have always called it "knee-elbow" so that is what we are going to roll with, sorry about that.

Say hola to your oblique muscles with this one! Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head, curl your body up and aim to bring opposite elbow and knee together to meet in the middle. If you wanted to change it up and make it more of a challenge you could do all your reps on one side and then switch to the other. For this finisher, I alternated between the two sides for the forty seconds.

EXERCISE 2: Butterfly Situp

If you hate normal sit-ups, you may hate butterfly situps as well, but they are SO good for your core strength you don't really have a choice but to throw them in every now and again- right?

Start by lying flat on your back, with your feet place them so the soles of your feet are touching together and let your knees fall out to either side of your body. Have your feet as close to the body as you can get them, using your abdominal muscles you need to lift your whole upper body up off the ground as if doing a sit-up. Return to the floor, hey! That is one rep.

EXERCISE 3: Plank Shoulder Taps 

The amount of hatred I used to have towards planks has slightly subsided and I can not do them without swearing and cursing (in my head of course). I am also trying to incorporate my plyometric and functional moves into my routine so this is one of those.

Start in a high plank position, so on your toes and hands, make sure that core is activated and keeping you stable- you can drop down to your knees if you need a modified version. Keep that straight line from your head all the way to whatever point hits the floor- that either being your knees or your toes. Keep this still position as much as possible while moving alternate arms to the opposite shoulder and tapping that shoulder before placing back on the ground and go again. The idea is to keep everything still except the arms and as you can see in the video I still struggle with this too!

EXERCISE 4: Ankle Taps

Okay, this was another one where I thought "Oh wow, what doe normal people call this??" You may also know it as "ankle tap crunches" according to Google.

This is a side to side motion. You basically lay on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees brought up, have your feet placed outside of hip-width apart and not too close to your body. Bring your head and shoulders up off the ground and have your hands by your side, rotate your core as you reach to tap your ankle with your hand. Rotate back to the middle and re-do on the opposite side.

EXERCISE 5: Upright Toe Taps 

Google tells me that the more technical name for this exercise is "Double leg toe tap crunch" so there is that one. I like upright toe taps better and will continue with that- any issues with that can be directed elsewhere.

With your back flat on the ground raise your legs into the air (you can go straight let or slightly bent, whatever works best for you), use your core firstly to keep your legs stable, secondly your going to have to use them to crunch your upper body up to "tap" the toes... while they are in the air. There is a lot of muscle work involved in this one, so don't be afraid to drop your feet to the ground if you feel you need to, just finish off with a standard crunch.

There we have it! 5 abdominal moves that you can add into your next workout, or do as a finisher circuit like I did. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram @tiaactive to make sure that you see all of our new workout ideas for you.

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