Ever feel like you’ve tried every ab exercise in the book? Us, too. We could drop down to the floor and show you at least a dozen plank variations. But when Christine Bullock—all-around health guru and creator of Evolution 20 ($40), Super Shred ($25), and Body Reborn ($15)—dropped by Byrdie headquarters, we learned a thing or two. We asked her to show us the moves she relies on to get a flat tummy and maintain a trim waist, and every move she taught us was completely new. (Have you ever done an exercise called Chrissy’s Can Can?) And each one targets your entire core—abs, hips, and thighs included—which, Bullock explained, is key. These are not moves you can coast through—you’re definitely going to feel the burn, but that’s the point. Bullock is all about shorter, more effective workouts. You don’t need to do 100 crunches or spend 30 minutes on an ab routine. If you’re working the right muscles, you can get a flat stomach and toned core with just three moves.
Scroll through to see Bullock’s three go-to moves to work your entire core!
“You’ll work the upper and lower rectus abdominis, creating a flat stomach while sculpting the obliques for a sleek waistline. This move also tones the outer hips along with the inner and outer thighs for a sleek lower body,” Bullock says.
- Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head, elbows in line with ears. Extend your legs to 45 degrees, turning them out from your hips and pointing your toes. Bend your right knee out to the side of your hip, placing your foot by the opposite knee to form a triangle (also known as a passé in ballet). Engage your core to float your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. This is your start position (and you’ll be feeling it already).
- Rotate your upper body toward the open knee like in a bicycle twist. Keep your opposite hip planted on the ground.
- Rotate your chest to the sky as you slide the right foot up to meet the left ankle.
- Open your legs a foot’s distance apart, and then close with the left ankle on top. Slide your left foot to the right knee to create a passé with the left leg.
- Repeat the movement on the left side.
- Do 30 repetitions, alternating sides.
“With this move, you’ll target the rectus abdominis (those six-pack muscles), the transverse muscles (the deepest part of the abdominals), and the muscles of the hips, pelvis, and inner and outer thighs,” Bullock says.
- Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together, knees bent, and legs open to a diamond shape. Place your hands behind your head, elbows in line with ears.
- Engage your core to lift your chest and legs off the ground simultaneously.
- Begin to pull your upper body and knees in toward the center line while lifting your chest even higher.
- Bring your elbows and knees together to touch. Internally rotate your legs with knees together and shins reaching out to the sides. Hold and deeply exhale to engage the deep abdominal muscles and sculpt a tiny waistline.
- Re-extend your knees open to the diamond shape, feet together and elbows open and in line with ears, as you lower the chest and legs to start position.
- Do three sets of 30. For an added challenge, keep your chest and legs hovering a few inches off the ground for the entire set.
“This move tones the rectus abdominis (the six-pack) while focusing in on the transverse muscles (the deepest part of the abdominals) and the muscles of the hips, pelvis, along with inner and outer thighs,” Bullock says.
- Start in reverse tabletop position. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart. Place your hand's several inches behind your hips, shoulder-width apart with fingertips facing outward. Press into your hands and heels of your feet to lift your hips toward the ceiling. Lengthen through your arms, draw your shoulder blades back, and open your chest.
- Engage your core to lift the right foot off the ground, extending the leg to the sky and kicking it toward your chest. Hold for a moment.
- Begin to lower the right leg over the opposite leg, bending the knee and engaging through the inner thighs to cross the legs. Keep your hips high.
- Kick the right leg back toward your chest, extending it straight up to the sky. Hold for a moment.
- Open your inner thigh to the sky as you lower your leg to the outside of your mat. Focus on keeping the hips level and extending your leg toward 2 to 3 o’clock.
- Barely touch the floor with your foot, and then engage your inner thigh to lift your leg back up toward the chest. Hold for a moment.
- Bend your knee to place your foot back on the ground, returning to your start position.
- Do three sets of 20 on each side.
After a challenging core workout like this, show your lower body some love with this thigh-slimming workout! Then check out more Fit GIFs.