The Best 5 Minute Ab Workout (Killer Abs, No Equipment)

Are you ready for 5 minutes of fire? Then this high-intensity, killer ab workout is for you! A 5 Minute Ab Workout to tone your lower abs, upper abs, and obliques; no equipment needed.

Jump to 5 Minute Abs Workout Outline

5 MINUTE ABS! A quick, high-intensity ab workout!

Add this killer ab workout to your weekly training routine 2-3 times a week.

Building a strong core is more than cranking out crunches. My core workouts focus on functional training — engaging ALL the muscles that criss-cross around the trunk of your body (aka your core muscles).

GOOD NEWS, if you do my at home workouts or follow any of my free workout plans, you use your abs in EVERY WORKOUT.

When you squat, press weights overhead, perform a push up or unilateral (single sided) exercise, you’re engaging your core.

So you don’t need to dedicate 20-30 minutes to ab workouts.

Strong core muscles can come from short, high-intensity ab workouts like this 5-minute killer ab workout. 

V Up Ab Exercise for killer abs

What are the most effective ab exercises?

The best ab workouts incorporate exercises that engage ALL of the major muscles in the core.

You have 29 core muscles; the major core muscles include: 

  • Pelvic floor muscles
  • Transversus abdominis (deep abdominal muscles)
  • Internal and external obliques (side abs)
  • Rectus abdominis (six pack ab muscles)
  • Erector spinae (muscles along the spine)

The best ab exercises that work ALL of these core muscles at the same time include:

  • Plank and Side Plank
  • V-Ups
  • Clamshells
  • Bicycle Crunches

Which is why these intense ab exercises are included in this 5 minute core workout.

If you want strong ab muscles, you have to train your abs from every angle.

Want more of the best ab exercises for women? Get the 18 BEST Ab Exercises for Women here!

Why having a strong core is important: 

The benefits of strengthening your abs go FAR beyond aesthetics. A strong core:

  • Prevents injury
  • Reduces back pain
  • Improves posture
  • Provides stability to common every day actives and movements

Plank Walk Out 5 Minute Abs

How can I modify this 5-Minute Ab Workout to make it easier/harder?

I’ll cue modifications for various fitness levels in this guided video.

TRAINER TIP: generally speaking, you can make ab exercises easier by bending your knees or reducing the range of motion. To make an ab exercise more intense, perform the movement from your toes (for moves like planks) or fully extend your legs; the farther your legs are away from your body, the harder the ab exercise will be.

If you consider yourself a beginner, or you’re postpartum, you can start with one of my beginner ab workouts:

Once you master these ab workouts you can scale up to this high intensity ab workout.

bicycle crunch 5 minute abs

What does this Killer Ab Workout target?

This core-blasting ab workout targets the:

  • Upper Rectus Abdominis (the upper abs)
  • Lower Rectus Abdominis (the lower abs)
  • Internal Obliques and External Obliques (side abs, along the sides of your body)
  • Transverse Abdominis (your deepest core muscles)

BONUS: this 5 minute ab workout will also build strength in your low back and glutes — both of which are important for a strong core!

Intense 5 Minute Ab Workout Video

Try this 5 Minute Ab Workout for Killer Abs

A short, yet intense ab workout that specifically targets the lower abs and oblique muscles. 

No equipment, no warm up — we’re jumping right in to this 5 Minute Ab Workout; Tabata-style.

This is an intense at home abs workout, but I’ll provide modifications for all fitness levels. 

Workout Equipment:

No equipment needed for this bodyweight-only, killer ab workout.

Workout Instructions:

Let me be your certified personal trainer for the day! Click here to jump to the full-length ab workout video.

This is a tabata-style workout, which means you’ll complete each ab exercise for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, and move on to the next core exercise. 

Follow along with my pace, or work through the 5 at home ab exercises below. Repeat x2 sets for a 5-Minute Ab Workout.

5 At-Home Ab Exercises

  1. V-Up Crunches
  2. Kick Out Bicycle Crunches
  3. Advanced Clamshell 
  4. Side Plank Toe Touch
  5. High Plank Walk Outs

*Perform exercises three and four on the right side for the first set, and left side for the second set.

Watch the video for form cues and modifications, or see GIFs of each ab exercise below.

1. V-Up Crunches 

Targets: total core, upper and lower abs.

v ups ab exercise

How to do V-Up Crunches: 

  1. Lie on your back with arms and legs extended, resting on the floor. Modify by keeping knees bent rather than fully extending.
  2. Engage your core. On your exhale, lift your hands and feet at the same time to meet above your midsection (pulling together to form a ‘V’ with your body).
  3. With control, lower your arms and legs back to the floor.

Modification: Make this move less intense by bending your knees, performing a tuck-in, instead of lifting your legs straight up for a v-up. Or try Bent Knee Leg Lowers (exercise #3 of these 18 Best Ab Exercises for Women).

2. Kick Out Bicycle Crunches

Targets: total core, with a focus on lower abs.

bicycle crunches at home ab workout

How to do Kick Out Bicycle Crunches:  

  1. Lying on your back, press your lower back into the mat to ensure your deep core is engaged. Place your hands behind your head.
  2. Engage your upper abs to lift your neck and shoulders off the ground. Focus on pressing your head into your hands rather than pulling on your neck. And imagine there’s a tennis ball tucked underneath your chin — this creates space between your chin and your chest and avoids extra neck strain. If you feel neck strain, leave your head on the floor. 
  3. From here, alternate kicking out each foot, extending one leg out while the other bends towards your chest; mimicking a ‘bicycle’ pattern. To modify, reduce range of motion, extending your legs out only as far as you comfortably can before your lower back starts to come off the mat. 

Modification: Keep your neck and shoulders on the mat with hands at your sides. Or try a Bent Knee Bicycle March (exercise #7 of these 18 Best Ab Exercises for Women).

3. Advanced Clamshell

Targets: obliques, glutes, and pelvic floor.

Clamshell exercises can help balance the muscular effort between your inner and outer thighs and your pelvic floor. A great exercises for pregnancy and postpartum. And great alternative exercise to Russian twists to target the obliques.

advanced clamshell for abs and glutes

How to do Advanced Clamshell: 

  1. Lie on one side, with legs stacked and knees bent at a 45-degree angle, soles of the feet to touch.
  2. Rest on the forearm of the lower arm, shoulder stacked over elbow.
  3. Exhale to contract your abs and stabilize your spine and pelvic floor.
  4. Keeping your feet touching, use your outer glutes and hips to lift your rest hip off the floor. Simultaneously as you lift your hips off the ground open your legs; raising your upper knee as high as you can without shifting your hips or pelvis (mimicking a clamshell opening).
  5. Pause, and hold at the top of the movement for a moment. Then return to the starting position.
  6. Perform the first set on the right leg and second set on the left leg.

Modification: Lie on your side and perform the clamshell opening without lifting your hips off the ground. Or try a Knee Down Side Plank (exercise #2 of these 18 Best Ab Exercises for Women).

4. Side Plank Toe Touch

Targets: obliques, glutes and upper abs and lower abs.

side plank toe touches for obliques

How to do Side Plank Toe Touches: 

  1. Lie on your right side with your right knee bent at 90 degrees underneath you to help support you. Place your right forearm flat on the ground, shoulder stacked over elbow.
  2. Extend your left leg long, foot flexed, and your left hand overhead.
  3. Engage your core and obliques, by keeping your hips lifted to your highest point.
  4. From here pull your left toe towards your left hand; they should meet near shoulder height.
  5. Return to the starting position
  6. Repeat on the left arm, right leg for the second set.

Modification: Take out the toe touch and perform a Knee Down Side Plank (exercise #2 of these 18 Best Ab Exercises for Women).

5. High Plank Walk Outs

Targets: Transverse abdominis, lower abs, upper abs, and entire core.

high plank walk outs advanced abs workout

How to do High Plank Walk Outs: 

  1. Start in a table top position with shoulders stacked over wrists (soft bend in the elbows) and hips over knees.
  2. Then extend legs long, balance on balls of the feet. From here your body should form a straight line from shoulders to heels. Pull up on your kneecaps and push back on your heels to keep your core engaged.
  3. Keeping your core engaged, slowly walk your hands forward; away from your body. Your goal is to walk your hands as far away from your body as you can without letting your hips drop (putting pressure on your low back).
  4. When you’ve reached your furthest point, hold for a moment, then return to starting position and repeat.
  5. Lead with your right hand on the first set and left hand on the second set.

Modification: Take out the walk out and perform a Standard High Plank (exercise #8) or an Incline Plank (exercise #1) of these 18 Best Ab Exercises for Women.

Add this intense, 5 Minute Ab Workout onto one of these strength workouts: 

Pin this 5-Minute Abs Workout (Tabata Abs)

5 Minute Abs pin for pinterest Tabata Abs Workout

Want more of the best ab exercises for women? Get the 18 BEST Ab Exercises for Women here!

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