‘Flip-Flop Abs’ Is the Fastest Way to Strengthen Your Entire Core in One Go

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Photo: Getty Images/ Ivan Ozerov
There are a lot of different ways to work your core. On this website alone, we've rounded up 11 different plank variations and dozens of different types of crunches, and that's barely scratching the surface. Since your core is made up of so many different muscles, it's important to target it in multiple different ways in order to get the most out of your abs workout. And the best way to do it? This flip flop abs workout.

"Your core is 360 degrees—not just the front of your stomach," says Obé fitness trainer Tiffani Robbins. "It includes the back and sides of your body, so you want to work those muscles from every angle."

In order to get that core firing on all cylinders (aka at all 360 degrees), she suggests switching off between forward-facing plank exercises and ab moves on your back.  "I love alternating from planks to supine ab work to make sure I’m burning out all those muscles," she says. "Plank work incorporates your full body by engaging the back of your body and including arm and shoulder work, while supine ab work tends to isolate the front and center of your abs."

By flip-flopping your exercises over the course of a single workout, you're able to isolate different areas while also ensuring you're hitting them all. Below, Robbins shares a flip-flop abs routine that will work every single muscle in your core over the course of a single sweat session.

Flip-flop abs (repeat three times)

1. Elbow plank hold

With your elbows shoulder width apart and palms flat on the floor (not clasped in front of you), engage your core and squeeze your glutes to lift your body off of the ground. Be sure to keep a straight line from the top of your head down to your feet, avoiding lifting or dropping your hips. Hold for 30 seconds.

2. Supine crunches with knees lifted at 90°

Lying on your back, lift your knees to tabletop at 90 degrees and place your hands lightly behind your head. Use your core to crunch up and raise your shoulders off of the ground (without pulling at your neck). Repeat for 20 reps.

3. Full plank alternating cross knee pulls (15 reps on each side)

 From a full plank on your hands, draw one knee at a time toward your opposite elbow for a slow, cross-body mountain climber. Engage your abs and squeeze your oblique each time you pull in your knee. Alternate sides for 15 reps each.

4. Bicycle crunches (20 reps on each side)

Lying on your back with your hands lightly behind your head, engage your core to draw one knee toward your chest while twisting your obliques so that your opposite elbow meets your knee. Alternate sides for 20 reps each.

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