4 Functional Core Exercises to Sculpt Tight Abs

Get mobile and shred your core with these top-notch moves.

Woman With Abs
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“These are four of my favorite ab moves that don’t involve a single crunch. I love all of them because they recruit stabilizer muscles that you probably don’t think of when you consider doing traditional core work. That means these moves are not only functional, they’ll get you more shredded,” says Betina Gozo, Nike Master Trainer.

1. Around-the-World Plank

  • Start in a full plank.
  • Lift and lower left arm, then right arm, then left leg, and then right leg, returning to plank after each lift.
  • Do 4 sets of 5

2. Hollow Barrel Roll

  • Lie faceup with lower back against floor, legs and arms extended.
  • Slowly raise head, shoulders, and legs, keeping lower back on floor.
  • Using obliques and deep abs, roll over, stopping when faceup.
  • Roll other way. That’s 1 rep.
  • Do 4 sets of 5

3. Supine Windshield Wipers

  • Lie faceup, arms out to sides to form a T.
  • Lift legs toward ceiling, then slowly drop them to the lowest point you can on right while keeping left shoulder down.
  • Return to center and repeat to left side.
  • Do 4 sets of 10 per side

4. Side Plank Hip Abduction With Tap

  • Begin in a right-side plank.
  • Lift left heel toward ceiling, then bring it to tap floor behind you.
  • Leading with heel, raise left leg and tap it in front of right leg.
  • Do 4 sets of 10 per side