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At-Home Abs: Get A Six-Pack In Your Living Room

At-Home Abs: Get A Six-Pack in Your Living Room

Written by
July 1, 2020

OK, so you probably laughed at the title of this article. “I get a six pack in my living room every night,” you say. “I just walk to my fridge, pull out my beer, and bring it back to the couch to watch Netflix.” Obviously, that particular six-pack is easy to procure. The one between your pelvis and your ribs, however, takes a little more work to firm up—but it doesn’t necessarily take much more time. We’ve got two great workouts that can help you do it, and each takes just a few minutes. Designed by Onnit Gym’s Director of Fitness Programming, Juan Leija (@juannit on Instagram), both routines can be done at home—one requires no equipment at all, and the other uses just a light medicine ball.

(P.S.: If you really are drinking a six-pack nightly, you won’t see definition in your abs no matter what workout you do. You need to cut calories and sugar from your diet to lose body fat… and maybe seek counseling?)

Bodyweight Ab Burner

Leija says you can do this routine at the start of a workout for other muscle groups (if you want to prioritize your abs), at the end of a workout (as a high-intensity finisher), or on a separate day entirely. All you need is some floor space. It takes six minutes (or less) to complete.

Directions: Set a timer for 6 minutes and start the clock the moment you begin the first exercise. Perform the exercises as a circuit, completing one set of each in sequence. Perform the first exercise for 30 seconds total, and then do the others for 20 seconds each. Do not rest between exercises, and rest as little as possible after the last one. Repeat for 3 total rounds, or until the 6 minutes are up.

1 Straight-Arm Plank/Knees to Elbows/Mountain Climber

Reps: Work for 30 sec.


Step 1. Get into pushup position with your hands shoulder-width apart and legs extended behind you. Tuck your pelvis slightly so it’s perpendicular to your spine, and brace your core. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position 10 seconds.

Step 2. Raise one knee at a time out 45 degrees and up to your elbow. Take it back, maintaining your tight core, and keep your hips and shoulders square to the floor. Continue for 10 seconds.

Step 3. Finally, perform mountain climbers, alternating knees straight up to your chest and back. Go for 10 seconds.

2 Full Situp

Reps: Work for 20 sec.


Step 1. Lie on your back on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent 90 degrees. Raise your arms behind your head.

Step 2. Sit up all the way and hug your knees at the top.

3 Bicycle Crunch

Reps: Work for 20 sec.


Step 1. Lie on your back and place your hands at the sides of your head. Extend one leg in front of you and tuck the other near your chest.

Step 2. Twist your shoulders, bending the straight leg and extending the tucked leg until your opposite elbow and knee touch. Alternate sides; it should look as if you’re pedaling a bicycle.

4 Russian Twist

Reps: Work for 20 sec.


Step 1. Sit on the floor and extend your legs in front of you with a slight bend in your knees. Raise your feet off the floor to put tension on your abs.

Step 2. Twist your torso side to side, touching the floor next to your hip with both hands.

5 Hollow-Body Hold

Reps: Work for 20 sec.


Step 1. Lie on your back and raise your arms overhead. Tuck your pelvis so that your lower back flattens into the floor. Brace your core.

Step 2. Extend your legs, and raise them off the floor. Hold the position with arms and legs straight, maintaining your flat back position.

Medicine-Ball Ab Workout

A medicine ball allows you to add weight to your ab training in a form that’s easier to grip and handle than a dumbbell or weight plate. It also allows you to train the core for power, as in the rotational slam exercise, where you twist your torso and throw the ball into the floor. This kind of training prepares your core to produce and absorb force the way it needs to when you’re playing sports.

Directions: Do this workout at the start of one of your regular sessions—it should take no more than 6 minutes to complete. Perform the exercises as a circuit, completing one set of each in sequence. Perform 10 reps for each movement. Do not rest between exercises, and then rest 30–60 seconds after the last one. Repeat for 2 total rounds.

1 Med-Ball Butterfly Situp


Step 1. Hold a medicine ball with both hands overhead, and lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together.

Step 2. Sit up all the way, bringing the ball down in front of your chest and touching your toes with it.

2 Med-Ball Leg Lift


Step 1. Lie on your back and hold the ball overhead. Extend your legs in front of you.

Step 2. Raise your legs up and your hips off the floor while using the ball as a counterbalance. Flex your abs at the top.

3 Table-Top Medicine-Ball Retrieve


Step 1. Lie on your back and hold the ball overhead. Raise your legs 90 degrees and then bend your knees to 90. Flatten your lower back into the floor and brace your core.

Step 2. Sit up and pull the ball from overhead to in front of your chest. Place the ball on the shelf provided by your shins, and lower your torso back down.

Step 3. Sit up again, and retrieve the ball from your legs, lowering back down again. Each situp is one rep.

4 Rotational Slam


Step 1. Kneel on the floor and hold the ball in front of your chest. Tuck your pelvis so it’s parallel to the floor, and brace your core.

Step 2. Raise the ball overhead and rotate to one side. Slam the ball into the floor and catch it on the rebound. Twist to the other side and repeat. Each slam is one rep. Perform 5 reps on each side (10 total).

Onnit Academy is the most comprehensive database of information related to Unconventional Training, a unique new form of fitness methodology that focuses on functional strength, conditioning, and agility using the most efficient means and tools possible. The online database includes articles, videos, tutorials, and workouts featuring alternative implements like kettlebells, sandbags, steel maces, steel clubs, battle ropes, and more.
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