Who doesn’t want a sizzling, chiseled core? The struggle of squeezing into those skinny jeans every morning till you make it to the top button is more than you can take it anymore. So here we are with these incredibly effective core workouts to rescue you from the seemingly bottomless pit of layering fat!

Here are 5 core workouts that will mold you into the shape that will make heads turn on your next visit to the pool or the beach. They will not only work on your lower abs, but the entire mid-section and the obliques.

Elbow Plank

Why: Every trainer will stress that this is a must-do full body workout whether you’re a beginner or a pro, with numerous advanced variations – plank walk, side plank, top plank twist, etc. for you to try as you progress onwards with this core workout.

Try: Start in pushup position, but instead of getting into a top plank position with both palms on the floor, bend your elbows so that your weight is on your forearms. Make sure that your body forms a straight line from head to toe. If your hips tip up or dip down, the workout will not be effective and you’ll likely succumb to an injury instead. Engage your abs and hold for as long as you can without compromising on the form. If you’re a newbie, start with a 30-second plank.Elbow plank

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Side Plank Twist

Why: The side plank twist is an advanced version of the standard plank and side plank as it not only engages your abs but also your obliques. It helps in tightening and toning, the results of which are sexy sidelines to complement your top-notch abs.

Try: Get into a side plank position with your right forearm on the floor (palm face down) and your feet stacked up one on top of another. Raise your hips up so your body forms a straight line. Your weight should be on your right forearm and the side of your left foot. Place your left hand behind your left ear and inhale. This is your starting position. Squeezing in your glutes and engaging your abs, exhale and rotate your left rib cage till your left elbow about touches your right hand. Hold for a second or two before returning to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 8 reps before switching sides.Side Plank Twist

Stability Ball Knee Tucks

Why: Forget stability ball crunches (or standard crunches for that matter); this alternative is far more effective on your core. Another variation of the plank, it engages your entire core more efficiently as you’re working on an unstable surface.

Try: Working your body to a top plank, place your knees at the center of the stability ball with both hands firmly positioned on the floor. Make sure your head, shoulders, back and buttocks are lined up straight. This is your starting position. Slowly bring your knees in towards your chest, engaging your core and hips at all times. This will flex your spine and work your abs. Hold for a second or two, then bring yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 10-15 reps.

Stability Ball Knee Tucks

Shoulder and Knee Taps

Why: While planks are awesome and one of the best core workouts, they’re still pretty static. You need to incorporate some dynamic movements into your workout to really get your core fired up. This workout recruits your abs, obliques, lower back and arms in one movement.

Try: Start in a pushup position. Engaging your abs and squeezing in your glutes, lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder with it, then return it to the floor. Do the same with the left hand to y our right shoulder. Then, bend your right knee and bring it towards your left elbow (not necessary to touch, but for as far as you can), and bring it back to start. Repeat with the left knee. That’s one rep. Continue for one minute without rest, all the while engaging your abs and keeping your body straight. Go slow in the initial stages before gradually picking up the pace as you progress.

Shoulder and Knee Taps

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Pilates Pumps

Why: Make no mistake! This classic Pilates move is one of the core workouts that will set your abs on fire. It requires pulling in the belly button to ensure that the deepest ab muscle (called the transverse) is engaged which will result in a midriff you would otherwise only dream of.

Try: Lie down on your back with your legs in tabletop position (hips and knees at right angles). Inhale and engage your abs to round your lower back to the floor. Exhale as you lift your upper back off the floor until your shoulder blades just about skim the floor. Maintaining this form, straighten your legs to a 45° angle. Keeping your arms about two inches above the ground, stretch them towards your feet. Making sure your elbows are straight, pump your arms up and down with a small range motion. Inhale for five arm pumps and exhale for another five pumps. That makes one set. Complete 10 sets.

Pilates Pumps

Go ahead and give these core workouts a go. As you notice the change week after week, be assured that your perseverance will ensure a chiseled core, beautiful arms, sexy thighs and legs to die for, not just for the summer but all the year through. So girls, get set to chisel and sizzle! Don’t forget to give us a buzz in the comments section below if you find this article useful. We would love to hear from you!

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