The only exercises you need for guaranteed abs of steel

Post-Easter and pre-summer; it’s the time of year when a lot of my clients start talking about holidays, swimwear and asking me to include more ab movements into our workouts. I’ve mentioned before that “abs are made in the kitchen”, doing crunches every day will strengthen your core muscles, but there won’t be a huge visible difference unless you’re making other changes too.

Below, you’ll find some of my favourite core exercises to try with a gym buddy. I love training with other people as I find it motivates me to push myself to workout harder. Give these a try, or if you’re training alone here are some really effective exercises, with gifs.

Lying Leg Throw Down

  • Lie with your back on the floor, placing your head between your partner's feet.
  • Hold your partner’s ankles
  • Bend your knees slightly and slowly raise your legs towards your partner's body.
  • Get your partner to throw your legs away and down. Your partner should throw so your legs have momentum pulling them down to the floor. Keep your back connected to the floor at all times!
  • Resist the force of your legs as they are thrown and don't let your feet touch the ground. Slowly bring your legs back up to your partner and repeat x 20.

Twist with Ball

  • Sit with your backs to each other with one person holding a medicine ball.
  • Rotate to pass the ball back and forth, twisting side to side. (Repeat x 20, then go the opposite direction for another 20 passes.)

Medicine Ball Passes

 One person sits with knees bent and the other stands in front of them.

  • The standing partner holds a ball. The seated partner starts to lower into a sit-up, and the standing partner passes them the ball.
  • Keeping your core tight, pass and continue to pass the ball to each other. (Repeat x 20.)

Strong Tight Core - L Shape


  • Lie on your back with your legs straight in the air and arms straight above your head
  • The trick here is to keep your body as tight as possible, lock your muscles in this position.
  • Get your partner to slowly lower your legs to the floor while you concentrate on holding a strong L position.
  • Then get your partner to return you to the start position. Repeat x 8-10.

Along with ab workouts, I highly recommend trying to incorporate some of these really small but important changes into your day. These workouts and tips aren’t designed to torture ourselves; they are great for our bodies and health. I think of these as taking care of my body which is so important to me.

  • Eat better

Protein, vegetables, and good fats should fill your plate. Only on days that you have exercised should you need to include starchy carbohydrates in your dinner. These include brown or basmati rice, potato, or sweet potato. Simply make a fist; this is how much your carbohydrate portion on your plate should look. Every other day simply increase the protein portion and fill your plate with predominantly green veg. If frying meat or fish use either butter or coconut oil. Reduce refined sugar and processed foods. Treats can of course be included but be mindful about what you have; it’s way too easy to undo all the hard work by turning a treat into a cheat weekend!

  • Drink better

Drink 2 - 3 litres of water per day. Carry a bottle around with you, keep a large jug on your desk, whatever it takes. This is so easy to start including in your day and will make a big difference. Swap your coffees and teas for green tea. This can be a difficult change to make and honestly, I still need a coffee in the morning. But reducing coffee and tea can reduce bloating; green tea is full of anti-oxidants and has lots of health benefits. If you are going for a coffee, try keeping it to pre-workout and not straight after a gym session. Avoid drinking alcohol during the week; ideally make it a weekend one night treat only. On nights out, best to avoid beer and wine as much as possible, rather choose spirits with no sugar mixers e.g. gin and slim line tonic or vodka and soda with slice of lime.

  • Sleep better

Get a minimum of seven hours sleep a night. The fact is, if you are not sleeping efficiently, you will not properly reap the benefits of good exercise and nutrition. Also, sleep deprivation causes increases in ghrelin (the hormone responsible for stimulating hunger) often resulting in cravings the next day and an insatiable appetite. Regular exercise and reducing TV/ phone time before bed will help with a better night’s sleep.

  • Exercise better

Introducing weight training to your week will make a huge difference. But if that’s not your thing, then try to be active 3 - 5 times a week at least. Walking, HIIT, cycling, yoga, whatever you enjoy doing - do it.

There you have it. Combining core exercises with my tips WILL get you results. Try set yourself a challenge, even for a week or two and when you notice a difference you will feel motivated to continue. Let me know how you get on.

Until next time,



Metabolic Fitness Trainer

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