Are the standard core exercises getting too easy? Is your plank rock solid and your crunch perfected?

No problem - here are seven really tough challenges for your abs.


  • Bridge march: Lie on your back with arms at your sides and palms on the floor. Form a bridge with a straight body and bent knees. Then lift each leg in turn for the ‘march’, keeping stable.
  • Cross-fit hollow rock: lie flat with legs straight and arms out above your head. Press your lower back down, then lift legs and arms to form a rocking chair shape. Now start rocking!


  • Kneeling cable chop: kneeling on the leg closest to the cable base, bend the other leg to 90 degrees. Grab the handle and pull it across your body from one hip to the opposite shoulder, twisting as you go. Repeat and switch sides.
  • Cable reverse crunch: sit on a mat with your feet near the pulley, and attach the cable to your ankles. Now lie down with knees bent at 90 degrees and feet raised, checking that the cable is in line with your legs. With hands flat on the floor, bring in knees and raise hips for the crunch. Release under control and repeat.


  • Medicine ball push up: lie on your back with straight legs and a medicine ball held with straight arms above your head. Without bending  limbs, ‘fold up’ into a V shape so that your toes touch the ball. Keep back straight and return under control.
  • Resistance band carry: Loop two strong resistance bands through kettlebell handles. Use the bands as handles, then simply lift the weights and carry 20 steps. Return and repeat.

If you think you’ve mastered all the tough abs moves, try the hardest exercise of all – the human flag. Using a strong pole, hold firmly with both hands and lock your lower elbow. Raise your legs with knees bent, tighten your core and straighten one leg after the other.

If you can do all these, you are definitely the owner of some seriously tough abs.

The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Trevor D.
10 October 2016

Trevor D.

chuckling at the idea of amusing the dog with a workout - so I'll give it a try too! I have seen the human flag move performed but never met anyone 'in real life' who could do it.

craig t.
9 October 2016

craig t.

I like the bridge march. The dog enjoyed me doing it too!

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