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At-Home Abs and Calves Workout

Don't let your abs and calves take a backseat when training at home. Tack these challenging routines onto the end of any other workout you're doing.

At Home Abs and Calves Workout

My At-Home Workout series has hit all the major muscle groups (legs, chest, back, shoulders, arms), but I haven't forgotten about the smaller body parts – abdominals and calves.

These workouts will be a little different. You can, by all means, do abs and/or calves on their own in individual workouts, but more than likely you'll want to add these routines to workouts you're already doing for larger muscle groups. For example, doing one of the below ab routines at the end of your chest or back workout, and the same with a calf routine. 

Let's start with abs...


I’ve designed multiple at-home abs workouts for you to choose from. Add them to the end of any of the five workouts in my 4-Week At-Home Workout. Or, do them whenever you want, like on active rest days or at separate times during the day from the other workouts.

Since you’re stuck at home, you’re pretty much limited to training abs in a vertical plane of movement – straight up and down, against gravity. (You’d need to have bands, cables, or other machines to train in other planes, like horizontal.) So, we’ll focus on a few staple abs exercises, which are really all you need for a well-developed midsection.

These exercises include the crunch, reverse crunch, hip thrust, plank, and side plank. With the right intensity techniques, these moves will help you build a stronger, more impressive midsection in only four weeks.

Below, you’ll find four different abdominal workouts. If you’re adding abs to one of the workouts in the aforementioned 4-week program (chest, back, legs, shoulders, or arms), add only one ab routine per workout – not all three. Choose whichever one you want for a given workout. It’s up to you.

1) Tabatas: Reverse Crunch + Crunch + Plank

In this workout, you’re going to challenge yourself with three different Tabata routines, each consisting of 8 rounds of 20 seconds of reps alternating with 10-second rest periods (4 minutes total). First, you’ll do a Tabata for the lower abs via reverse crunches; then, you’ll hit the upper abs Tabata-style with standard crunches of upper abs; and you’ll finish with Tabata planks to work the core.

Rest 1-2 minutes between each of the three Tabatas.

If that doesn’t sound like much of a challenge, wait until you’re just past the halfway point of reverse crunches and your abs start cramping. You’ll feel the challenge then!

4-Week Progression*: Each week, your goal is to complete more time for more of the sets until all eight 20-second sets are completed. Or, if that’s not much of a challenge in Week 1, add resistance to the exercises each week by holding a weighted object between your feet on reverse crunches, at your chest for crunches, and on your lower back for planks.

*Refer to my 4-Week At-Home Workout article for the full-body training split and all four weeks of workouts for all muscle groups.


At-Home Tabata Abs Workout

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2) Extended Set: Hip Thrust + Crunch

As I’ve covered in previous articles, an extended set involves multiple variations of the same basic movement for a single muscle group, where you start with the hardest variation and move to the next easier one after hitting failure.

In the midsection, the lower abs tend to be weaker than the upper abs. Thus, I’ve designed a two-exercise extended set here of hip thrusts (which hit the lower abs) followed by standard crunches (which target the upper abs).

You’ll do three extended sets total, resting as little as needed after reaching failure each time on crunches (the second of the two moves).

4-Week Progression*: Since you’re going to failure, try to complete more reps per set each week.


At-Home Extended Set Abs Workout

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3) Crunch Around the Clock

This crunch-focused workout hits all areas of the abdominals from all angles. It consists of the following crunch variations, in this order:

Oblique Crunch – Lying on your side and crunching straight up toward the ceiling. Do reps on both sides.

Crunch to High Toes – Legs extended straight up

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