All You Need for This 20-Minute Ab Workout Is a Bench

Weight benches are more versatile workout gear than you might think.
Image Credit: zoranm/iStock/GettyImages

You can do so much more with your exercise bench than chest presses and triceps dips. This space-efficient tool is particularly great for training your core. Because you can easily adjust the incline and decline of the bench, you can target certain ab muscles more closely and force them to do most of the work.

From crunches and sit-ups to mountain climbers and leg raises, there are countless ab exercises you can do on an exercise bench. Don't have an exercise bench at home? No problem. You can use a stability ball, the armrest of your couch or even a park bench. Just be sure to choose a stable, firm surface, so you can properly engage your core and support your upper back and head.

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Once you find a stable surface, give this 20-minute ab workout a shot. Your lower abs, obliques and even your hips will feel the burn.

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Move 1: Bench Knee Tucks

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Abs
  1. Adjust the exercise bench so it's completely flat and sit on one edge of the bench.
  2. Place your hands on the sides of the bench a few inches behind your back for support, and lift your feet off the ground as you lean back about 45 degrees while engaging your core.
  3. Kick your legs out, fully extending them in front of you, as you lower your upper body toward the bench.
  4. Bring your knees back in toward your chest.
  5. This is one rep. Complete 12 reps.

Tip

For an extra challenge, take your hands off the bench and extend them out to your sides.

Don't have the budget for an exercise bench? Consider these alternatives.

Move 2: Bench Straight Leg Raises

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Abs
  1. Sit on the edge of the bench and lie back so your upper body, torso and hips are resting on it. Extend your legs toward the sky, forming a 90-degree angle.
  2. Place your hands on the sides of the bench by your ears for support.
  3. Engaging your core and moving with control, lower your legs until they are parallel to the ground. Keep your legs as straight as possible.
  4. Lift your legs back up to the starting position.
  5. This is one rep. Complete 12 reps.

Tip

Make sure your lower back stays on the bench by pulling your belly button in.

Try this 20-minute park bench workout if you don't have an exercise bench at home.

Move 3: Bench Hip Raises

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Abs
  1. Sit on the edge of the bench and lie back so your upper body, torso and hips are resting on the bench. Extend your legs toward the sky, forming a 90-degree angle.
  2. Place your hands on the sides of the bench by your ears for support.
  3. Keeping your legs straight, kick your heels up to the sky by engaging your core, lifting your hips and lower back off the bench.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. This is one rep. Complete 12 reps.

Tip

If you're not able to keep your legs completely straight, slightly bend the knees.

Move 4: Bench Decline Mountain Climbers

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Sets 4
Reps 24
Body Part Abs
  1. Get into a high plank position with your feet on the bench and your hands on the ground. Stack your shoulders directly over your wrists.
  2. With control and keeping your body in a straight line, drive one knee toward your chest, engaging your abs.
  3. Extend the leg back out. This is one rep.
  4. Next, drive the opposite knee toward your chest and extend the leg back out.
  5. Continue switching legs at your own pace.

Move 5: Bench Incline Plank Twists

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Abs
  1. Get into a high plank position by placing your hands on one edge of the bench and extending your legs behind you. Feet should be a little wider than hip-width apart on the ground.
  2. Maintaining this plank position, lift your right hand off the bench and twist your torso to the right side, reaching your arm toward the sky.
  3. Return your right hand to the bench. This is one rep.
  4. Repeat on the left side and continue alternating arms.

Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.

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