Best Core Exercises: 3 Bodyweight Bench Workouts for Stronger Abs

Best core exercises body weight bench workouts MKB-211 Declined sit ups

In previous posts we have explored the importance of core strength and bodyweight exercises. These two concepts go hand-in-hand and, although there are plenty of bodyweight exercises to strengthen and tone your core, adding a weight bench to your home gym can expand your possibilities even further and allow you to perform even more of the best core exercises you can do. Here are three bodyweight bench workouts for stronger abs:

  1. Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

The Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise is a great bodyweight movement for working your abdominal muscles from a different angle than you would with other exercises. This is also a simple yet effective workout for beginners that are looking to expand their flat bench possibilities. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie with your back flat on the bench and your legs extended in front of you
  • Place your hands underneath your glutes or use them to grip the side of the bench
  • Exhale and raise your legs until they are at a 90 degree angle with your body, keeping them as straight as possible throughout
  • Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back to the starting position
  • Repeat
  1. Bench Plank

The plank is a classic bodyweight exercise that is great for reinforcing your core as well as toning and strengthening your entire body. This variation, much like the Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise, will allow you to ensure that your core muscles are being targeted from as many angles as possible, leading to a more defined look. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your elbows towards the edge of a bench and at about shoulder-width distance apart like they would be during a normal plank
  • Bring your body back until your back and legs are straight and fully extended
  • Hold this position for anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds depending on your fitness level
  1. Decline Abdominal Crunch

The crunch is one of the go-to moves when it comes to targeting abdominal muscles and adding a decline to this exercise is a guaranteed core-strengthening workout. The Decline Abdominal Crunch is slightly more advanced than the previous workouts mentioned and it also requires a bench with decline capabilities. If you would like to perform this move from your own home gym, we recommend checking out the Marcy SB-10112 Ab Bench or the Marcy JD-1.2 Utility Slant Board. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lock your feet into position at the top of the bench and place your hands behind your head
  • Contract your abs as you slowly raise your upper body and bring your elbows into your thighs
  • Flex your abs at the top of the movement
  • Slowly lower yourself back to starting position
  • Repeat

Sources: [1], [2], [3]

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