How to Get Abs Like a Gymnast

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Elite gymnasts need a tight core to prevent injuries and maintain control during a routine. While the average American isn’t regularly competing on a world stage, who’s to say we shouldn’t strive for the six pack, too?

However, if you’re feeling lost among the internet’s plethora of workout videos and exercise plans, don’t worry, we’re boiling it down to three easy tips.

Here are a few exercises used by gymnasts to mix into your workouts:

woman on gym bench

1. V-Ups: Start by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms above your head. Then raise your hands toward the ceiling while also bringing your toes up to meet them (forming a “V” shape). Try to keep your legs as straight as possible. 

We know. It’s not easy, but it works out multiple muscle groups at once and delivers amazing results.

topless man pointing

2. Bicycles: Start by lying on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift one leg toward your chest while doing a crunch, and touch the opposite arm’s elbow with that knee. (So, if you’re lifting your right leg toward your chest, touch your left elbow with your right knee while crunching.) Repeat, altering legs and arms.  

This is a tried-and-true core exercise, and it’s great for defining your obliques.

woman holding blue exercise mat

3. Scissor Kicks: Start by lying on your back with your hands at your sides. Using your core muscles, lift both your upper body and legs slightly off the ground. Then begin doing a “cutting” motion with your legs, crossing them over each other in a quick, left-to-right, right-to-left motion. Keep your legs straight throughout.

Don’t lift those legs too high, or it’ll be less effective! (We know it’s tempting.)


There’s no such thing as the “perfect body.” Any gymnast will tell you that. The real goal is always good health, and a tight core means better posture, balance, and less pain.

So, get ready to start sweating!

Head over to WELL + GOOD to read how Olympic gymnast, Alisa Kano, uses these exercises.