Ab Exercises from Around the World

How It Works

To slim your waistline in record time, check out this around-the-globe tour of the top tummy toners. Do two sets of each move, completing all ten in any order to target your abs from all angles.

Afata A

Trainer: Anna-Rita Sloss, creator of the Hot Hula class at 24 Hour Fitness

Targets: Ab and obliques

  • Stand with feet close, right hand on hip, left arm raised so bent elbow is near shoulder level in front of you.
  • Contract abs as you trace a box with hips: Softly bend right knee and lift right heel as you jut right hip forward (pelvis tips up).
Afata B
  • Drive right hip back (as if sticking out derriere), straightening right leg with heel flat on floor.
  • Quickly complete box by shifting weight to left leg as you drive left hip back, then forward.
  • Continue tracing for 1 minute.
Paddler A

Trainer: Paul Frediani, author of PowerSculpt for Women

Targets: Shoulders, abs, and obliques

  • Sit on floor with knees bent and feet flat, holding ends of resistance band (or a towel) with both hands in front of chest, arms extended and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Lean torso back 45 degrees and lift bent legs until shins are parallel to floor.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Keep feet on floor.
Paddler B
  • Maintaining V-sit position and keeping lower body still, rotate torso slowly to right, bringing right hand out to side a few inches off floor.
  • Repeat to left side, bringing left hand out to side near floor to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 10 reps.
Pisao Kick A
Pisao Kick

Trainer: Leandro Carvalho, creator of Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City

Targets: Abs, obliques, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, elbows bent by sides, right fist in front of chest, left fist near left hip. Lift bent left knee toward chest.
Pisao Kick B
  • Bring left fist by waist as you press left heel out to left side, foot flexed, leaning torso slightly to right as you fully extend left leg.
  • Bring left knee back to chest, straightening posture.
  • Do 10 kicks without lowering left foot to floor. Switch legs, repeat.
Windshield Wiper A
Windshield Wiper

Trainer: Leandro Carvalho

Targets: Abs and obliques

  • Lie on back with arms out to sides slightly below shoulder level, palms down and legs extended toward ceiling, feet together.
  • Tighten abs and slowly lower legs together toward right as far as you can.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Lower legs so right toes touch floor.
Windshield Wiper B
  • Lift legs back to start; repeat to left and return to start to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 8 reps.
Flying Side Crunch A
Flying Side Crunch

Trainer: Viveca Jensen, creator of Piloxing and owner of V Pilates studio in Los Angeles

Targets: Abs, obliques, and butt

  • Standing on right leg, knee slightly bent, extend left leg out to side, toes touching floor.
  • Tighten abs and hinge forward at hips 45 degrees, back flat, then extend arms out to sides at shoulder level, palms down (like an airplane).
Flying Side Crunch B
  • Maintaining bent-over airplane position throughout, lift extended left leg out to side as high as you can, toes pointed, then lower.
  • Continue lifts for 30 seconds. Switch legs, repeat.
Ax Chop A
Ax Chop

Trainer: Paul Frediani

Targets: Upper back, shoulders, triceps, abs, and obliques

  • Tie one end of resistance band to a secure post 2 feet overhead. (Or attach it to a doorknob and perform move kneeling on floor.)
  • Facing post, stand tall with feet hip-width apart and grasp other end of band in left hand, right hand on top. Step backward until band has no slack and hands are at eye level.
Ax Chop B
  • Keeping arms extended in front of you and lower body still, rotate torso to right as you pull band down until hands are by outside of right hip.
  • Return to start position.
  • Do 10 reps, then switch grip (right hand grasps band; left goes on top) and repeat to left side.
Torso Tightener A
Torso Tightener

Trainer: Melanie Rojas-Guzman, certified Zumba education specialist

Targets: Abs, obliques, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out 45 degrees, and hold one end of a single dumbbell in each hand, arms extended in front of chest so weight is parallel to floor. (Use a dumbbell no heavier than 2 pounds or no weight.)
  • Lower into a plie squat, abs tight.
Torso Tightener B
  • Bend at waist to right and bring dumbbell out to right, turning dumbbell so it’s perpendicular to floor with left hand directly over right.
  • Remaining in plie, fluidly straighten torso as you bring dumbbell back to center and return it to parallel to floor.
  • Repeat to left, bending at waist to left and bringing dumbbell out to left while turning it so right hand is over left. Do 8 reps to each side.
Freestyle Rainbow A
Freestyle Rainbow

Trainer: Dara Torres, Olympic swimming star and author of the new workout book Gold Medal Fitness

Targets: Shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, and quads

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a single dumbbell with both hands in front of hips.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Do move while seated.
  • Squat, bringing dumbbell by outside of right hip.
Freestyle Rainbow B
  • Keeping abs tight and arms extended, stand as you trace an arc with hands out to right, then overhead.
  • Complete rainbow, bringing dumbbell out to left, then down by left hip, as you lower into squat again.
  • Do 10 reps, arcing from one side to the other.
Pop-Uo A
Pop Up

Trainer: World-class Australian surfer Kim Wooldridge

Targets: Shoulders, triceps, abs, obliques, butt, and legs

  • Lie facedown on floor with hands under shoulders, palms flat.
  • Tuck toes under and press through palms as you straighten arms into full push-up position.
Pop-Up B
  • In one quick motion, lunge left foot between hands (under chest), then straighten torso and come into a modified sumo squat: right leg behind you, foot turned out (so instep lines up with heel of left foot) and both knees bent nearly 90 degrees, arms slightly bent and out to sides at shoulder level (as if balancing on a surfboard).
  • Place palms back on floor on either side of left foot and quickly step left foot back to meet right foot, then bend elbows to lower belly to floor.
  • Do 10 reps, alternating lunging legs.
Attack A

Trainer: Beach-volleyball pro Angie Akers

Targets: Back, shoulders, triceps, and abs

  • Lie faceup on floor with knees bent, feet flat, holding a single dumbbell with both hands so that arms are extended directly behind head.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Do move without dumbbell or have a partner hold your feet.
Attack B
  • Contract abs as you bring torso upright, raising weight overhead with arms straight and then diagonally forward.
  • Reverse move to start, without allowing weight to touch floor.
  • Do 10 reps.

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