Want abs after 40? We got you. It’s never too late to get the abs you want and rock the solid six-packs this summer.
If you think your age is in the way of getting your dream body, think again. No matter where you are in your fitness journey, with the right approach, you can get the body you want, even the six-packs.
That’s right. You still have a shot at ripped abs after 40.
But if you are in your 40s or beyond, getting abs should be part of the goal. It’s smarter to have a plan that not only aims at the outer abs layer but also the entire core. This is because building a functional core at this age can help you sustain your functionality, mobility, and strength as you age.
The older you get, core strength becomes the key to holding your body’s overall balance, mobility, and strength together. If you have a weaker back, it can even help prevent back pain and promote correct posture.
As you age, it pays to pay attention to the functional elements of your body no matter what part of your body you want to shred. This is no exception for your abs.
The best part is, if you focus on building strength in your entire core, you’ll land on shredded abs. Your mid-center rectus abdominis muscles will get a fair share of work to develop nice definitions in your abs.
Ready to start? Here are the 5 best core exercises you should be doing to get abs after 40.
The 5 Best Exercises to Get Abs After 40
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1. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers have become very popular for their ability to provide both a cardio stimulus and a core workout. This exercise is very difficult as it uses tons of muscles in an explosive manner.
How to Perform
- Start in a pushup position, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your feet close together.
- Quickly bring your right knee to your chest, then return it to the starting position.
- As you return your right foot to the ground, immediately bring your left knee to your chest.
- Continue in this alternating manner for as many reps as possible in one minute. Repeat 3 times per session.
2. Bicycle Crunch
The bicycle crunch is one of the best ab exercises for working the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles, according to an ace study.
This modification is by no means necessary, but you’re certainly welcome to try it while you perform this killer exercise!
How to Perform
- Lying on your back, lift your shoulder blades off of the ground, performing a crunch.
- While holding the crunch position, bring both legs off of the ground as well.
- Twist your right elbow to meet your left knee, bending the knee and tucking it toward your right elbow at the same time. Your right leg will remain straight as you do this.
- Repeat on the other side, alternating the opposite leg and arm in a “bicycle” motion for the duration of the exercise.
3. Side Crunches With Leg Lift
A modification of the traditional side crunch, this exercise incorporates the obliques as well as some hip abductor muscles. Beyond that, the movement also forces you to balance on a small point of contact, bringing even more core muscle activation into play.
How to Perform
- Lying on your right side, place your left hand on your head.
- At the same time, you’ll elevate both of your legs as you bring your right shoulder blade and ribs off of the ground, effectively bending your body in half.
- Slowly lower back down into the starting position and repeat for half of the timed set, switching to the left side at the halfway mark.
Planks are an isometric exercise. This means that your joints don’t change angles during the movement. Rather, you maintain the same position, keeping your muscles tensed the whole time. Isometric exercises, such as planks, are great for building muscle endurance and strength.
How to Perform:
- Place your forearms and toes on the floor, keeping your back flat.
- Tighten your abs and glutes as hard as you can.
- Hold this position for 3 sets of 30 seconds to 1 minute to start. As you get stronger, continue to increase your time spent in the plank.
5. In and Outs
In and outs are a great way to strengthen the abdominal region from a seated position. This move can be made harder by not using your arms for support. Try this modification if you’re finding the exercise is too easy for you!
How to Perform
- Start in a seated position, with your hands behind you, supporting you on the ground.
- Kick your legs out in front of you, then bring them back in toward your chest.
- Repeat this alternating motion for the duration of the exercise.
- Complete 12-15 reps per set, 2-3 sets per session. 2-3 sessions per week.