3 Ab Exercises From Famous Trainers To Strengthen Your Core

Define and strengthen your ab muscles with these trainers’ favorite exercises. You'll be in and out of the gym with an effective workout.

Running is great for you—but what about the other 23 hours of your day? Prolonged sitting while at work isn’t just a pain in the rear—weaknesses can quickly develop in your entire body, making runners prone to injury and fatigue.

Fear not! A head-to-toe workout doesn’t have to take all day. Focus on exercises that provide the most bang for your buck. We asked experts for their favorite exercises to get you in and out of the gym in a hurry. These ab exercises from famous trainers will help strengthen your core. Check back soon for power moves for arms, legs, and butt. Photos: Scott Draper

Janet Hamilton’s Pick: Plank Roll

(a) Start in a side plank position on your right forearm with left arm extended. Hold for 10 seconds, then roll into a normal plank position on both forearms.

(b) Lift your left foot slightly off the floor, hold for 10 seconds, then repeat with right foot. Roll into a side plank on your left forearm, holding for 10 seconds. Rest and repeat the entire thing 10 times.

Janet Hamilton, author of the book Running Strong and Injury-Free, is an exercise physiologist and running coach based in Atlanta.

Dr. John Ball’s Pick: Pallof Press

Attach a resistance band to a wall or doorknob. Holding the band with both hands at belly button level, walk sideways away from the wall to create tension in the band.

(a) Stand perpendicular to the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart.

(b) Bracing your core, punch both your hands out in front of you and hold with arms straight while you count to three. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Dr. John Ball, chiropractic sports physician and founder of Maximum Mobility in Phoenix, Ariz., has worked with elite track athletes such as Lauren Fleshman. 

Amy Brown’s Pick: Swiss Ball Plank

(a) Prop yourself into a plank position, with your feet on the floor and your forearms placed on top of a ball.

(b) Roll the ball in small side-to-side repetitions five times, then forward and back for five repetitions. Finally, perform five figure-eight rolls on the ball. Rest and repeat entire pattern five times.

Amy Brown, owner of Athena  Rehab and Fitness in Portland, Ore., helps Olympians, including Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan, perform at their best.