It’s time to get to the core! There are many different ways to train abs and core, but in this feature we are focusing on eight moves that really get the job done, with the help of IFBB Bikini Champion Ashley Kaltwasser.
This program is effective because it hits different areas of the abs, to not only sculpt a six-pack, but also build a strong core, which can help you perform better in other workouts. By using different tools like the captain’s chair, medicine ball, stability ball and your own bodyweight, you’ll be hitting the core for the most effective results. Let get sculpted!
The moves featured are some of Ashley’s favorites in her ab-training program. “They have a lot of lower abdominal focus for a great set of toned abs,” said Ashley.
Lie flat on your back. Thrust your legs and arms up into a V position. Slowly return to starting position and repeat.
Ashley’s Tip: “This can be a tricky exercise at first. Be sure that you are using controlled movement and your feet and arms touch at the same time.”
Lie on the ground with your hands under your glutes. Bring one leg up about six inches off the ground, then lower down while simultaneously bringing your other leg toward the sky. As one leg lowers, the other lifts in a scissor motion.
Stability ball plank knee-ins
Place your hands on a stability ball, roughly 18 to 24 inches apart, and extend your legs behind you in a push-up position, with your body forming a straight line from your neck to your ankles. Raise your right foot off the floor, and slowly bring your right knee up toward your chest, then lower it. That’s one rep.
Ashley’s tip: “Make sure that this exercise is slow and controlled.”
Side plank with hip drop and leg lift
Get in a side plank position, balancing on the forearm. Next, drop the hip to the ground, then lift it back up to starting plank position. Then lift top leg up, keeping hips pointed forward. Then lower leg back down to start. Repeat.
Medicine ball arm walk-out
Assume a kneeling position with your hands on top of a rubber or sand-filled medicine ball and your elbows straight. Roll the ball out in front of you by walking your arm hand-over-hand as far as possible without allowing your lower back to extend beyond the starting position. Reverse the motion, and roll the ball back toward you by walking your hands back so that your hands end up just in front of your shoulders.
Ashley’s tip: “Make sure that this movement is very slow and controlled. Focus on keeping a flat back at all times and not rounding or hunching.”
Captain’s chair side leg lifts
Start with your back up against the back rest and arm on the upper supports, hands gripping the handles. Let your legs hang straight down. Bring your knees up at a slight angle to target the obliques. Lower to start position and then repeat on other side.
Ashley’s tip: Make sure that you are really feeling the squeeze at the top!
Captain’s chair straight-leg lifts
Start with your back up against the back rest and arm on the upper supports, hands gripping the handles. Let your legs hang straight down, and then, keeping legs straight and together, lift them up in front you until they are parallel. Slowly lower and repeat.
Ashley’s tip: “You will really want to minimize swinging on this exercise for a more focused abdominal exercise.”
Stability ball pike roll-out
This exercise combines the ball pike and the ball rollout. Get into a push-up position on a stability ball. With your body in a plank position, keep your legs straight and push your hips toward the ceiling, keeping your back flat. Straighten your hips and come back to the start position, then push your body backward on the ball until your arms are fully extended in front of you, and your legs fully extended behind you. Then reverse the motion and repeat.
Ashley’s tip: “Form is key here. Do not get sloppy with this movement. Use mind to muscle connection and really focus on your abs being worked.
KEEP UP WITH ASHLEY
Check out Ashley’s “Keep it Fresh” column at for her fun and flavorful fit living tips. You can also find her at www.AshleyKfit.com, on Facebook (/BikiniProAshley), Twitter (@AshleyKFit) and Instagram (AshleyKfit).