Intensify Your Core Workout With These Three Tough Ab Exercises

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Ready to move past the same core workout you've been sleepwalking through for the past year? Check out these three exercises demonstrated by Captain Brandon Godsey of the Ohio National Guard. Whether you're trying to increase your Sit-Up count for the Army Physical Fitness Test or just want a stronger core, these tough ab exercises are perfect for shaking things up.

Concentrated Bicycle Row

Single-Arm, Single-Leg Plank
Although the plank is great for building core strength, endurance and stability, it can become tedious after a few minutes. If you're ready for a higher-intensity version of this foundational exercise, move onto the Single-Arm, Single-Leg Plank. Check out the video above for more tips.

  • Get into Plank position with feet and elbows on ground
  • Keep core tight to keep body straight
  • Hold right arm and left leg off ground for 30 seconds
  • Alternate arms and legs and hold for another 30 seconds

Sets/Duration: 5x30 seconds each side


Mountain Climbers
Add a quick burst of intensity with Mountain Climbers, a challenging exercise that will elevate your heart rate while working both your core and legs. (Video above)


  • Move into "V" position, with hands and feet on ground
  • Quickly bring one knee to chest while extending opposite leg in alternating fashion
  • Maintain flat back and stable upper body
  • Continuously switch position of legs for specified duration

Sets/Duration: 3x60 seconds with 60-second rest


Concentrated Bicycle Row
Develop abdominal and hip flexor strength and endurance with a surprisingly difficult core challenge in the Concentrated Bicycle Row. More information in the video above.

  • Lie flat on ground, clasping hands behind head without pulling on head
  • Lift both legs six inches off ground
  • Bring left knee and right elbow together, pausing for one second with shoulder blades and right leg off ground
  • Alternate with opposite arm and leg


Sets/Reps: 3x10

Measure your progress by taking the Army Physical Fitness Two-Minute Sit-Up Test. Strive for a perfect score (for 17- to 21-year-olds) of 78 Sit-Ups.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock