Best ab workout at home

Steph Prem holding a dumbell

Keep your core muscles strong and toned with these exercises from Steph Prem, a Swisse wellness advocate and founder of Studio PP in Melbourne. Steph recommends doing these exercises two to three times a week, following a jog or brisk walk.

Russian twist

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. 

Lean back slightly with a straight back (don’t slouch), to switch on your core muscles. You can leave your feet on the ground, which is an easier option, or lift your knees so your legs form a V-like shape. 

Balancing here, twist your torso from side to side without moving your legs. Move slowly and with control. Exhale as you rotate, and inhale as you move through the centre and across to the other side.

For a more advanced option, you can also hold a dumbbell or medicine ball in your hands in front of your torso.

Woman doing a russian twist ab exercise

Figure-4 oblique twist

Lie on your back and cross your legs into the figure-4 position. 

Interlock hands behind your head. 

Come up into a crunch and twist to one side, bringing the opposite elbow to your knee. 

As you exhale, reach that arm out long past your knee. The other arm can extend to the floor or stay behind your head for more support. 

Lower down as you inhale, then twist and repeat on the other side.

Woman doing a oblique twist ab exercise

Pilates roll-up

Start by lying flat on your back with your legs straight out in front of you and arms straight over your head. 

Inhale to prepare and as you exhale, bring your arms up above your head while keeping your shoulder blades on the floor. Switch on your abdominal muscles to support your lower back.

From this position, tuck in your chin, then head, and start to curl your body up. Continue in one smooth motion, curling your body up and over towards your toes.

Inhale as you prepare to roll back down. As you exhale, draw in your abdominal muscles and tuck your tailbone under as you roll down. Move vertebrae by vertebrae until you’re lying flat on the floor. Your arms stay outstretched and in line with your shoulders as you roll down, landing on the floor over your head. Keep your abs tight. 

Repeat using your breath to help facilitate the movement.

Woman doing a pilates roll-up ab exercise

Side plank

Lie on one side with your elbow lined up directly under your shoulder and your forearm flat along the floor. 

For a more advanced version of this move you can balance on one hand, with your arm pointing straight down from your shoulder. 

Extend both legs out to the side, so your body is in a line from your toes to the crown of your head. 

Switch on your core and squeeze your thighs together as you lift your hips off the floor, keeping the straight line from your head to your feet. 

Your top hand can rest on your top hip for an easier modification, or you can extend the arm up to the ceiling.

Woman doing a side-plank ab exercise

Mountain climber

Mountain climbers are great for building cardio fitness as well as core strength. Start in a high plank position, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. 

Your weight should be evenly distributed between your hands and feet, and your head in line with your spine. Make sure your abdominal muscles are switched on. 

Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. 

Continue to alternate sides as quickly as you can while maintaining the correct technique. Keep your hips down, and your abs and glutes switched on the whole time.

Woman doing a mountain-climber ab exercise

Steph’s health hacks 

As an Olympic snowboarder turned trainer, Steph knows how important it is to look after herself. 

Stick to a routine

“Never rely on motivation to exercise – it’s fleeting and unreliable. We all need routine and discipline right now. We have to prioritise daily movement and foster a positive mindset. This can include exercise, stretching, positive self-talk, less screen time and more outdoor time, and a good night’s sleep.”

Nourish from within 

“I follow a predominantly organic, plant-based diet with the addition of healthy oils or fats and seafood. As someone who has coeliac disease, I stick to a strict gluten-free diet. I’ll generally have a smoothie for breakfast, soup or a salad for lunch, and for dinner I’m a creature of habit so I often stick to my favourite dishes. Salmon tacos are a quick weeknight favourite.” 

Be kind to yourself 

“Self-care is a big focus for me. That means daily walks and meditation, making time to cook and enjoy healthy food, getting quality sleep and staying in touch with friends and family.”

Healthier living starts here

Whether you’re looking for tasty and nutritious midweek dinner ideas or are catering for a range of dietary requirements, we have you covered with our healthy recipe collections

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