If you take a minute and think about it, all actions in life seem to start in the stomach. You have gut instincts that tell you right from wrong.

You get that squishy feeling in your stomach when you are in love and you generate power from your core when you do explosive moves in a host of different sports. A high percentage of the core is found in the stomach.

When it comes time to throw down, also known as working out, you have good pain and bad pain. Don’t believe that old nonsense about no pain, no gain. That’s a bunch of foo foo. A slight amount of pain is good but you should never feel like you need to be hospitalized when the final rep has been counted.


The truth is lactic acid build-up is nearly impossible to avoid in a workout after you reach a certain amount of reps. However, it can also appear during a long spell of time under tension. Let me give you a quick example of this.

If you were to hold a kettlebell overhead with your arm fully extended and walk across a room, there is a lot of time when your muscles are under tension. This, in turn, can lead to lactic acid build-up in your arm, shoulder and even back and abs.

The end result is that short-term pain you feel and THIS is good pain.

Pulverizing yourself to a point where you can’t get out of bed for days and ache from head to toe is not only bad pain, but also just plain stupid. You should instead feel pleasantly sore and tight allover.

Take this advice into what I’m about to describe—a good pain stomach workout to do at home. The fun fact is you never need any fancy equipment or gadgets to get a good burn going in your stomach. What you DO need is common sense and the right plan of attack to follow.

Below you will see a detailed description of exercises. Do them back to back with as little rest between as possible. Ideally you go through them with no rest at all, but if you can’t, keep the breaks short and sweet. Perform 10, 12, 15 and 20 reps of each exercise, respectively with each round.

Once you finish an entire round, take a 30-to-60-second rest break and repeat the series three more times for a total of four rounds. During your breaks between rounds, do some stretches like triangle pose, cobra pose and standing back bends.

OK, are you ready for some fun? Let’s get to it!

Check this circuit training to do at home.

Flip Flops

Flip flops activate multiple upper and lower body muscles while elevating your heart rate and improving your flexible. These entail a fancy yoga pose known as a full wheel or upward bow, in conjunction with an advanced ab exercise.

There is no room for error and no room for dilly dallying around with this exercise. Own it right from the start and you’ll turn out just fine.

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hands also placed flat on the floor right by your ears. Your elbows should be sticking up in the air and your fingers should be facing your shoulders at this point.

Lift your hips off the floor and continue moving them up while also extending your arms and legs. Your goal is to raise your hips as high as you can while arching your back and forming a bow shape with your body. You will simultaneously feel this in your abs and back.

Lower yourself back to the floor, then immediately perform a V-up—extend your legs up in the air, lift your shoulders off the floor and move your hands toward your feet. Your goal is to form a “V” shape with your body.

Hold for a second, lower yourself back down and go right into another back bend. Continue to alternate back and forth.

If you can’t touch your toes, don’t worry about it. Just go as far as you can and aim your fingers toward your toes.


This is a homegrown exercise that takes finesse, concentration and coordination. Assume a side-lying position on your left side with your legs stacked and left hand flat on the floor. Lift your hips and form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. You are now in a side plank position.

Place your right hand on the side of your head and carefully place your feet in a staggered position with your right foot forward. Lift your left foot off the floor, bend your knee and move your leg at an upward angle in front of your body.

As you do this, twist your upper torso down at an angle and move your elbow and knee toward each other. Feel free to touch your elbow to your knee if you have the range of motion.

Move your torso back to the starting point as you extend your leg back behind you. Continue for a set of reps and switch sides.

Ideally your moving foot stays off the ground the entire time, but if you get geeked out halfway through, lightly place it down with each rep.

Cherry Bombs

killer ab workout at home_2

The emphasis with cherry bombs flat out goes to the rectus abdominis area of the stomach. This is the mid to upper region where you see a six-pack form in a highly developed individual.

Lie face-up on the floor with your arms and legs sprawled out so you are in an “X” shape. Lift your arms and legs up so they are hovering just above the floor. This is your starting point.

Curl your torso upward as you move your arms and legs inward and hug your arms around your shins. You should be balancing on your butt at this put and your body should be in a cannonball position.

Slowly release as you move back to the starting point and finish your set of reps.

Moving Birddogs

A bird dog is a sleek looking, four-legged animal that likes to hunt, run, frolic and be adored by everyone, especially kids. My personal favorite is probably the Weimaraner, although I know lot of people would disagree.

This breed of dog has a cute little, distinctive movement pattern it does with one of its front legs. The bird dog exercise is modeled after this movement. The moving bird dog is a variation I conjured up one night right before falling asleep.

Aside from working your core, expect to work your butt, hamstrings and shoulders with this exercise as well.

Get onto your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly beneath your hips. This is called a quadruped position. Lift your right hand off the floor and extend your arm straight in front of your body while simultaneously lifting your left leg and extending it straight behind your body.

You should form a line from your hand to heel at this point that is straight and parallel to the floor. Bend your right elbow and move it underneath your body while bending your left knee and also moving it under your body.

Touch your knee to your elbow then extend your limbs back to the starting position. Repeat for a set of reps then switch sides.

Bicycle Crunches

Good old fashioned bicycle crunches target all areas of the abs. You also get a good amount of hip flexor and quad recruitment to add a little exclamation point to the exercise.

Start by lying on your back, raising your legs and bending your knees 90 degrees. Your shins should be parallel to the floor at this point. Place your hands on the sides of your head and do a crunch so you are looking at your knees.

Twist your torso to your right as you FULLY extend your left leg and move your left elbow toward your right knee. Hold for a second, repeat the exact same move on your other side and continue to alternate back and forth until you finish the required amount of reps.

Be aware that one rep is counted when you move through the range of motion on both sides of your body.

Alright, it’s time for you to man or woman up and try this. Let me know how you make out!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
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