Training: Beginner Gym-Free Abs

This article is one of three to be posted with workout ideas to really target your core, build ab definition and burn fat at the same time. The idea behind the three articles is that they require little to no equipment and space therefore being able to be completed anytime anywhere.

Ideally, aim to complete each section within this workout for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest. This is to give your muscles a bit of recovery before working them again, during the rest periods try to keep moving as to not cramp. Repeat all the exercises three or four times. The individual targets are just a guideline – beginners should be aiming for form over number of reps.

Before you continue, please remember that you need to warm up.

If are are unsure about some of the terms used in this article, it’s worth having a quick read through our Glossary of Terms before you get started with your workout.

Lying Leg Raises. Click for full exercise


Lying Leg Raises

For this its best to hold something behind your head (a partners ankles?) and raise your legs up as far as possible, contracting the abs, try to keep your back flat all the way through.

Target: 15 leg raises (within 30 seconds)

Sit Ups. Click for full exercise


Sit Up

It’s not necessary to sit all the way up for this one, if it hurts your lower back or coccyx then go ¾ of the way up. Keep hands beside head or across chest.

Target: 10 full sit ups (within 30 seconds)

Bodyweight Squats. Click for full exercise


Bodyweight Squats

Sit back as if into a chair; go down so thighs are parallel to the floor and straight back up.

Target: 15 bodyweight squats (within 30 seconds)

Tip: the lower you can squat, the more effective the exercise.

Heel Touches. Click for full exercise


Heel Touches

Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor reach laterally to your ankles, this will hit your obliques!

Target: 10 heel touches per leg (within 30 seconds)

Press Ups. Click for full exercise


Press Ups

Uses your entire core and focuses slightly on the chest and triceps, keep your back flat and your bum in line. Go all the way to the ground!

Target: 10 press ups (within 30 seconds)

Tip: To make this easier, you can perform a press up on your knees.

Standing Mountain Climber. Click for full exercise


Standing Mountain Climbers

Imagine you are climbing a ladder really fast, this should be quick! Fast feet and fast arms, this will really get your heart pounding.

Target: 20 standing mountain climbers (within 30 seconds)

Tip: make this as fast or as slow as you like. The faster you go, the tougher the exercise.

Plank. Click for full exercise



By now you should really be feeling it. Plank engages the entire core in an isometric contraction (no movement), keep your form throughout this move, that’s the most important. Toes and forearms should be points of contact here.

Target: keep the plank form (for 30 seconds)

Tip: keep your form and butt raised. The longer you can plank (keeping your form), the better).

Flutter Kick. Click for full exercise


Flutter Kick

For the last bit we’ll burn your lower abs. Lie on your back and lift both feet 4 inches off the floor, now alternately kick as if your swimming, go up no further than 45 degrees from the floor.

Target: 20 flutter kicks in total (within 30 seconds)

This has given you eight different exercises that can be done pretty much anywhere and with no equipment! Perfect for taking with you on holiday and smashing out for 30mins on a morning before breakfast.

In April 2018 we shot the entire workout as a complete video, which you can view below.

Once you’ve completed one circuit rest one minute and go again. If it was too easy, don’t rest! Don’t forget to cool down at the end, do a light jog or walk and do some static stretches, you want to decrease the possibility of muscle soreness tomorrow.

Before you finish, remember that you should spend time cooling down.

If that wasn’t challenging enough, look out for the Intermediate Circuit where the intensity will increase slightly and there will be some more exciting exercises to do!


About Author

Olly is the Short Motivation fitness and training advisor. He is a level-3 PT instructor, specialising in TRX and kettlebell instruction, and manages his own gym in the United Kingdom.