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5-Minute Intense Ab Circuit (No Equipment)

Strengthen the total core with this intense ab circuit workout. Five effective ab exercises targeting the lower abs, upper abs and obliques in just five minutes. No equipment needed for this bodyweight workout at home.

Build a strong core with this intense ab circuit workout.

If you’ve mastered our 5-Minute Beginner Ab Workout, this intense ab is for you. These advanced ab exercises will strengthen your core from every angle.

Ab circuit workouts combine a series of complimentary ab exercises, each focused on a different part of the abs. This results in a well-rounded ab workout that targets every muscle in the core.

Four of the core exercises in this workout involve a plank variation, because planks are a really effective way to activate your entire core. That said, if you don’t want to plank today, I’d recommend this 7-Minute Standing Ab Circuit Workout.

Add these advanced ab exercises onto any strength training workout.

woman performing a bicycle crunch hold and knee press in an ab circuit workout
What Is An Ab Circuit?

Ab circuits are an effective way to build strength and definition in the core. Circuit training is a workout format that alternates between different exercises with minimal rest. This style of training is effective because you complete a high number of reps in minimal time. Combining different ab exercises in one circuit is a great way to strengthen the core from multiple angles.

What Are The Benefits Of Ab Circuit Training?

Ab circuits build a strong core, and a strong core is important for so many reasons. According to Mayo Clinic, a strong core is tied to improved balance and stability, improved posture, reduced risk of lower back pain, and reduced risk of injuries (especially from activities that involve core rotation).

Should I Do An Ab Circuit Every Day?

I recommend completing ab and core workouts 1-3 times per week for the best results. For a more structured workout program, try following one of my free home workout plans.

Who Can Do This Intense Ab Circuit Workout?

This is an intense ab workout that I’d recommend for those who are more advanced. If you’re a beginner, try this 5-Minute Beginner Ab Workout. I would not recommend this advanced ab workout for pregnancy or postpartum. If you’re pregnant, try these 8 Pregnancy Core Exercises. If you’re working on rebuilding core strength postpartum, try and of this Diastasis Recti Program.

woman performing a side plank crunch as part of an advanced ab exercise in a circuit workout

5-Minute Intense Ab Circuit

Improve core strength at home with these intense ab exercises.

Add this advanced abs workout to your weekly workout routine 1-2 times a week to build muscle and improve endurance. I recommend alternating this workout with our other ab workouts to avoid workout boredom.

Workout Equipment:

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

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Ab Workout - woman performing a side plank with oblique crunch

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Ab Circuit Workout on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 5 Intense Ab Exercises
  • Timed Intervals (40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest)
  • No Repeats

Workout Outline

  1. Hollow Rock Bicycle Crunch and Knee Press
  2. Side Plank (and Optional Oblique Crunch), Right
  3. Low Plank Reaches
  4. Side Plank (and Optional Oblique Crunch), Left
  5. Plank Walk Out
woman performing a hollow rock bicycle crunch and knee press in an intense ab circuit workout

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Core Workout

4 Intense Ab Exercises

Hollow Rock Bicycle Crunch And Knee Press

Targets: Upper abs, lower abs, obliques, transverse abdomen (deep core muscles below your rectus abdomen or six pack ab muscles), hips and outer glutes.

This is a great ab exercise for runners to strengthen the core, hips and glutes.

woman performing a bicycle crunch with knee press in an advanced ab circuit workout

How To Do A Hollow Rock Bicycle Crunch And Knee Press

  1. Start lying on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Contract your abs by pulling your hip bones together to activate your transverse abdominal muscles and lift your neck and shoulders off the mat. Then lift both legs off the mat (legs straight). This is your “hollow rock” position.
  3. From this hollow rock position, pull your right knee towards your chest as you would for a bicycle crunch. Knees bent and feet flexed with right knee bent at 90 degrees.
  4. Hold your right knee towards your chest and press your left hand firmly into your right knee. Try to keep your left leg extended straight. Note, the harder you press into your knee, the more difficult this ab exercise will be.
  5. Hold the knee press for a 5-second count, then switch sides. Pulling your left knee towards your chest as you extend your right leg long. Then press your right hand firmly into your left knee.

Side Plank (And Optional Oblique Crunch)

Targets: Internal and external oblique muscles (the muscles that run along the side of your core) and transverse abdominus.

woman performing a side plank crunch in an ab workout at home

How To Do A Side Plank Crunch

  1. Start in side plank position. Right forearm on the mat, right shoulder stacked over right elbow. Option to balance on the outside edge of your right foot, stacking your left foot on top of your right foot, or stagger your feet.
  2. Place your left hand behind your head or extend your left hand overhead. Option to hold this side plank position.
  3. To add a side plank crunch, pull your outside, left knee up to meet your left elbow. Arm and leg meet as you squeeze your obliques (side abs).
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat, switching sides on the next set.

Low Plank Reaches

Targets: Upper abs, lower abs, obliques, transverse abs, shoulders and back.

woman performing low plank reaches in an ab circuit workout at home

How To Do Low Plank Reaches

  1. Start in a low plank position or forearm plank. Shoulders over elbows, forearms resting on the mat, core engaged. Neutral spine.
  2. Alternate reaching one arm straight in front of you. Fully extend your right arm and tap the mat in front of you, return to the starting position. Then fully extend your left arm and tap the mat in front of you.
  3. Try to keep your hips stable and square to the mat as you alternate reaching your arms straight out. Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body to avoid sagging hips or piked hips.

Plank Walk Out

Targets: The entire core from head to toe including — deep transverse abs, upper abs, lower abs, side abs, shoulders, back, glutes and quads.

woman performing a plank walk out in a no equipment ab workout at home

How To Do A Plank Walk Out

  1. Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged, pulling up on your kneecaps and pressing your heels towards the wall behind you. Creating a straight line with your body from head to heels.
  2. Slowly start “walking” your hands out in front of you. The further you walk your hands out away from your body, the more difficult this advanced ab exercise becomes.
  3. Once you’ve walked your hands as far away from your body as you can without dropping your hips, pause for a moment. Arms and legs extended long.
  4. Then reverse the movement by walking your hands back to the high plank starting position.

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  1. Hi Lindsey! I’ve been loving your workout videos for a few years now. This past year I stopped other programs and gym memberships because your workout plans were exactly what I needed and kept me in great shape my whole pregnancy. Your Boobie bites recipe is a favorite amongst my mom friends!
    I’m wondering, do you take both a prenatal vitamin and ZMA supplement? I know you recommend the NOW vitamins but was worried about getting too much zinc.
    Thanks so much and many blessings!

    • Hi Christie! I’m so glad you are loving the workouts and workout plans!! And oh the boobie balls; the greatest new mama gift ever! And yes, I take the prenatal in the morning and then I take the ZMA before bed to help with muscle recovery! I hope that helps! Keep up the good work! -Lindsey