Right when you think you’ve run out of fun ab workouts to try, a TikToker always comes through with a new one. In fact, the hashtag #abchallenge — which has nearly 500 million views — seems to update with a new routine every minute.
That’s the best thing about TikTok ab workout challenges, says Alayna Curry, an AFAA-certified fitness instructor. Not only are they plentiful, but they’re also a great way to spice up your usual routine. And trying different workouts means you’ll likely be working new muscles, resulting in newfound strength. The social aspect doesn’t hurt, either. “People like that they can duet with the original creator to show off their skills,” Curry tells Bustle. Another perk? If you aren’t a big fan of core work, you might be motivated to push through when you see that literally thousands of people are bicycle crunching and planking right along with you.
The only downside is how short TikTok challenges tend to be, with most coming in around the one-minute mark or only featuring one or two moves (though, once you’re feeling that burn, this might turn out to be a major upside). To turn an ab challenge into a more robust workout, Curry suggests repeating a TikToker’s routine about five times, aiming to make it last for about five minutes. Come back to it about three times a week (Curry says core work is all about consistency) and you should start to feel the benefits of a stronger core. Here, seven fun and effective ab challenge workouts on TikTok to get you started.
1. “Level Up” Challenge
With over 200,000 likes, this “Level Up” challenge has clearly enticed people to sweat through the ab-strengthening sequence. Each move hits the obliques — especially when you add a medicine ball into the mix — for an ab workout that works the muscles used to stabilize and support your core, says personal trainer Ellen Dyverfeldt. TikTok user @amanda_afit recommends doing 15 reps of each exercise for four sets total, with one minute of rest between each set.
2. Abs Of Steel Challenge
This challenge from @briannajoye_fitness may only last a minute, but it still finds a way to work your entire core. You’ll do Pilates-inspired crunches, followed by plank dips, mountain climbers, and then — just when you think it’s over — a round of plank up-downs and scissor crunches.
“Planks are one of the best exercises to train your entire core, and there are so many variations to try,” says Curry. “Plank dips put extra emphasis on the obliques and plank up-downs require strength in the upper and lower abs in order to raise and lower yourself with control.”
3. “Up” Challenge
The “Up” routine, demonstrated here by @konnectwithkaye, is tough because you’re supposed to keep your legs lifted the entire time — which is harder than it might look. That means your core is activated as you move through a round of knee-ins and elbow-to-knee crunches and leg dips (whew). Consider trying it with a friend so you can cheer each other on, because ouch.
4. 100 Rep Challenge
For a simple yet super challenging ab workout challenge, try this week-long routine from user @cieralaurenj, who suggests doing 100 reps of one move per day. (Brace yourself for Wednesday!) If you want a move for the weekend, consider plank jacks. “Many TikTok challenges include plank jacks, which are a floor version of jumping jacks,” Curry says. “These work your abs while also giving you a cardio burst.”
5. Bicycle Challenge
Let the sounds of the Spice Girls and Doja Cat pull you through this routine from @thehartesisters. It has a big focus on bicycle crunches, which work your abs from all angles, Dyverfeldt tells Bustle. It’s also an ab exercise you can easily modify to make it harder or easier, depending on your fitness level, by changing the number of reps you do and how high you hold your legs off the ground.
6. “Cha Cha Slide” Challenge
Here, @fitqueens.nation shows you how to match your core routine to the beat of the “Cha Cha Slide.” This challenge will hit your obliques and lower abs — two notoriously tough-to-reach places — thanks in part to the criss-cross crunch.
7. Pull-Up Bar Challenge
If you have access to a pull-up bar, you might want to try this hanging core workout from TikTok user @cynthia.fitness. You’ll lift your right leg and then your left before kicking both legs as you “walk it out” while doing a pull-up. Repeat the sequence as many times as you can for a workout that’ll light up your entire abdominal wall.
Alayna Curry, AFAA-certified fitness instructor
Ellen Dyverfeldt, personal trainer