Kayla Itsines Shares Her Five Best Ab Exercises

You want ‘em. Here they are. Feel the burn with Kayla’s five go-to ab exercises.

Sweat logo
Sweat

June 26, 2024 - Updated June 26, 2024

Kayla Itsines kneeling in orange set

One of the most common questions our co-founder and head trainer Kayla Itsines gets asked is for her best core exercises, and within the Sweat app, search terms like “abs” and “core” consistently take out some of the top spots for the Sweat Community. So, here are five of Kayla’s favourites with step-by-step instructions to make it easy. These moves are perfect for a quick ab workout, a great option to incorporate into your next session or you could use them as a fiery finisher to wrap up your Sweat workout.

You can go for 12-20 reps of each for a few rounds depending on your fitness level, or do each exercise for 45 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest before moving on to the next move!

Looking for beginner ab exercises? We’ve got you covered.

Straight-leg jackknife

  1. Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Extend both legs and engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. This is your starting position.

  2. While keeping your legs extended, slowly raise your legs upwards until they form a 90-degree angle with your hips. At the same time, bring your arms forward and upward towards your feet, slowly lifting your head, shoulder blades and torso off the mat.

  3. Slowly lower your arms and legs to return to the starting position, but without lowering your feet fully to the floor. Repeat.

10 SECS

Half burpee

  1. Plant both hands on the mat slightly further than shoulder-width apart, feet together on the mat behind you while resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.

  2. Jump both of your feet forwards landing close to your hands, ensuring your feet remain shoulder-width apart.

  3. Jump both of your feet backwards to return to the starting position. Repeat.

Plank

  1. Start by placing your forearms (wrist to elbow) firmly on the mat, ensuring your elbows are directly below your shoulders.

  2. Extend both legs behind you and elevate your hips off the mat, resting on the balls of your feet and forming a straight line with your body from head to toe. Draw your belly button towards your spine to engage your core and squeeze your glutes to ensure that your spine remains in a neutral position. Hold this position for as long as you can, breathing deeply throughout.

30 SECS

Straight leg raises

  1. Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Extend both legs and engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine or thinking about pressing your back flat against the floor. This is your starting position.

  2. While keeping your legs extended, slowly raise your legs upwards until they form a 90-degree angle with your hips.

  3. Slowly lower your legs to return to the starting position, but without lowering your feet fully to the floor. Repeat.

Toe taps

  1. Start by lying straight on your back on a yoga mat with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your elbows and place your hands behind your earlobes. Gently raise your legs off the floor so that they form a 90-degree angle at your hips. Engage your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. This is your starting position.

  2. Extend your arms to bring your hands up towards your feet — slowly lifting your head, shoulder blades and torso off the mat as if you are reaching for your shoelaces. 

  3. Lower your torso, shoulder blades and head to the mat and place your hands behind your earlobes to return to the starting position. Repeat.

Work out anywhere, anytime with Sweat

Ready for your first workout?

Core strength unlocked

Kayla is a huge fan of fast, effective workouts and these five ab exercises are an epic way to strengthen your core and feel the burn without a single crunch or sit-up. Love core workouts like this? There’s plenty more where that came from in the Sweat app. Many Sweat programs include weekly ab workouts or you can find a huge range of standalone ab sessions by searching in the On Demand section.

Sweat logo
Sweat

A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

Sweat Workouts
Kayla Itsines
Strength Training
Abs
Burpee

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.

Fitness

Recommended Stories

We have a feeling you’re going to love Sweat

That's why the first week is on us.