I’m sure you have all heard the trending phrase, Abs are made in the kitchen. Yes, part of our toned abs dream is achieved in the kitchen with a healthy diet, but there is no denying that if we want to see definition in our mid-section, we have to develop the muscles through targeted exercise!

To get your tummy summer-ready, try this Exercise-Ball Ab Routine we call Crunch Time. This routine is also great for people with back injuries who are trying to regain strength in their core.

*Note: You’ll want to keep this routine as fast-paced as possible. Go over the sequence before you begin, so you don’t waste time in between sets reading about the next movement. You’ll want to keep your heart rate up to help melt the tummy fat!

Complete 25-30 reps for each exercise unless noted otherwise. If you cannot get to that many reps at first, start with 15-20 or do what you can. Every time you use this routine, try to increase your reps to hit the 25-30 reps goal.

  1. Exercise Ball Crunch – keep your torso parallel to the floor, feet hip-width apart, and knees bent 90 degrees. Keep your stomach and butt muscles as tight as possible during each movement. Target your stomach muscles by avoiding pressure on your neck – crunch forward by raising your shoulders, not your head/neck. At the top of each crunch, give your abs an extra squeeze before slowly returning your back to the ball. Keep your shoulders off the ball.
  2. Oblique Crunch – keeping in the same position as the first move, come up in a crunch and simultaneously twist your torso to aim your left shoulder to our right knee. Hold at the top of the crunch and squeeze your abs before returning your back to the ball. Alternate reps to each side.
  3. Lateral Ab Squeeze – Place the exercise ball near a wall. Lie sideways over the ball, with your legs stretched to the side and your feet stacked side-by-side against the wall for stability. Place your hands behind your head. With your abs contracted, crunch up to the side so your elbows & shoulders are parallel to the floor. Repeat 15 reps, then switch sides. Repeat this move on both sides twice, for a total of 30 reps on each side.
  4. Leg Lift – Lie on your back with the exercise ball squeezed between your knees. Get a good grasp on the ball with your legs, and raise your legs and ball in the air until your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Keep your abs contracted while you raise the ball, and slowly release as your lower your legs. Do not arch your back or put pressure on your neck. If you feel discomfort in your lower back, place your hands under your butt for support.
  5. Plank-to-Knee Tuck – This is one of my favorite moves to get defined abs! First, lie face-down on the ball so your core is fully supported on the ball. Put your palms on the floor and walk yourself forward with your hands until your shins are fully on the ball. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and abs contracted. Once you are balanced, pull your knees forward to your chest, causing the ball to roll forward under your shins. Slowly extend your legs back to your start position. To help with balance, you must keep your abs contracted and your back flat.
Repeat this routine 2-3 times for maximum results.