Beginner 30-Day Ab Workout Challenge + Workout Calendar
A FREE, 30-Day ab workout calendar to help you tone and tighten your abdominal muscles. Download your workout calendar to build core strength and improve your overall fitness.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
You all know I love doing ab workouts. It’s my absolute favorite! Is it yours? Maybe they are not your favorite muscle group to tone, but you might be looking to shed a few inches to fit better and feel better in your jeans. Maybe you just had a baby and you are cleared to workout again, and all you want to do is get rid of that mommy pooch.
Let’s hit up this 30-Day Ab Challenge together!
We can encourage one another to stay the course, build our strength, one day at a time so that our bodies will feel better and look better.
Our core is the most important body part to work out. It’s the glue that keeps everything else together. Without a strong core, you have nothing. Let’s start this year off right with some rock hard abs, or at least less flab!
I created this 30-day ab challenge with you in mind. I wanted a workout where you didn’t have to count reps, and you didn’t have to keep up with anyone else except yourself. This is a timed workout. I know your time is valuable, so I wanted to make sure you had time to do this beginner ab workout amongst your busy mom schedule.
The 30-Day Ab Workout Challenge
The first week consists of 3 minutes of floor exercises only.
Each of the 5 exercises will be performed for 30 seconds.
There will be one 30 second rest break in the middle of the group of exercises. For example, perform the first round of exercises (1, 2 and 3) for 30 seconds each, take a 30 second rest break and then perform the second round (4 and 5) for 30 seconds each to complete your 3 minute ab workout for the day! Not too shabby!
Every other day you will perform a different set of exercises.
Group A consists of:
3. Double legs lowers
5. Mountain climbers
Group B consists of:
2. Flutter kicks
3. Heel taps
4. Side planks
5. Plank hip dips
Every other day you will alternate between group A and group B exercises to keep things fresh and exciting each and every day.
30-Day Ab Challenge Progression
With each new week, you will progress by 1 more minute of exercising.
So for week 2, you will perform each exercise for 40 seconds, for week 3 you will perform each exercise for 50 seconds and for week 4 you will perform each exercise for 60 minutes (with respective rest break times).
The final 2 days of the challenge you will be working out your abs like a pro. You’ll combine all 10 of the exercises (group A and B combined) for 30 second intervals and compete 2 whole sets. This will total up to be a complete 10 min ab workout! WOAH!!
I have intentionally created this beginner 30 day ab workout challenge to help you progress comfortably each week with a variety of exercises that are challenging yet still enjoyable. You’ll be extremely satisfied with your results at the end of the challenge and be prepared for more advanced ab training when month two rolls around.
Key Features of the Workout Calendar:
1. Minimal time requirement each day, perfect for the busy mamas
2. It’s a slow, steady progression each week, building upon the strength that you’ve gained the week before
3. A variety of ab exercises helps you to not get bored
4. Ab exercises targeting the various muscle groups that make up your core
5. A routine that can be done anywhere and practically any time of the day
Who is this 30 day ab workout calendar for?
If you are a beginner with anything ab related, then this ab workout calendar is for you.
Beginner is a term used for those who are new to working out their body, or maybe they have taken a long break from doing any type of ab exercises.
Or maybe you are just recovering from having a baby and you are looking to get more toned. I highly recommend doing these specific postpartum ab exercises before doing this beginner ab calendar.
This is not a postpartum recovery workout calendar but is specifically for ab training and toning.
For those of you who are at a more advanced level of core training, I still highly recommend following this 30 day ab workout calendar and modifying it by doubling every exercise to make it more challenging.
So in summary this is for:
1. Someone who is looking to get started with ab training for the first time
2. Someone who wants to get back into a steady fitness routine after taking a break from one
3. Postpartum fitness training of the abs after already completing the 10 postpartum core exercises with ease as described here
4. Someone who has advanced core training and is looking for a consistent progression of ab training (recommend doubling everything on the calendar)
But this is not for the following people:
1. This is not for someone with diastasis recti
2. This is not for someone with back pain
3. This is not for someone who was not yet cleared by their doctor for exercise
4. This is not for someone who is pregnant
Frequently Asked Questions about the 30-Day Ab Challenge
When do I start the 30 day workout calendar?
It may be easiest to start on the first of the month, but don’t feel obligated to do so. You may begin at any time during the month, but be sure to take your one day of rest on the 7th day after you started your workout calendar.
The easiest way to track your calendar is to print it out, and cross off each day after your perform your workout. So each passing day you can see what you have done as you cross it off. If you happen to miss a day, it’s ok because there is one rest day built into your calendar. Switch the rest day with the day you accidentally missed and keep on moving along the calendar as scheduled.
Do I need to buy any equipment?
No, absolutely nothing is needed except yourself. You simply lie on the floor, preferably a soft surface like carpet and you can do your ab workout. If you decide you don’t like the feeling of your flooring, you can always buy a yoga mat which tends to be more comfortable. Keep your phone or a clock nearby so you can keep track of your time during your workout.
1. Download your 30 day ab workout calendar and get instant access to the workout program.
2. Either print off the calendar, which is the preferred method, or take a snapshot of the calendar so you can quickly glance at it on your phone. If you print it off, it’s easier to keep track of your progress.
3. I also like to tape it to the wall near the area where I do my exercises so I can always have it visible. This way it is a consistent reminder for me to do my exercises daily.
4. Set an alarm on your phone for the same time every day to remind you to workout.
5. Ask a friend to join you in the challenge. Send them this link so they can also get instant access to the calendar and the private Facebook group where other women are joining in on this ab challenge together. We can all help support and encourage one another as we strive to live CORE strong!
Important Tips To Remember:
If you feel you have pain and discomfort during the workout, stop and take a break. Attempt again and if you feel no pain, then continue. But if the pain persists, stop doing that exercise and attempt again the next day.
Keep in mind PAIN-FREE EXERCISE!!!
There is a difference between workout soreness and “fatigue” types of pain versus a straining pain that leads to injury. Be sure you know the difference and know how to recognize what’s going on in your body.
Be sure to progress according to the calendar and the way it’s mapped out; don’t skip ahead, and don’t add in more than what is written.
This ab routine can be supplemented with your other workout routine, but try to avoid doing another ab program at the same time. Instead, focus on doing upper body, lower body or cardio workouts in conjunction with this ab workout calendar.
Descriptions of the Exercises
Lie on your back with your knees bent, your hands placed gently behind your head. Gradually lift your upper body off the floor including your head, shoulders and chest. Remember not to pull your head but gently support your head during the lift. Slowly lower the back down to the starting position, but don’t rest your head down. Maintain constant tension on your abdominals throughout the entire exercise. Also, remember to breath through each crunch.
Lie on your back with your feet straight out in front of you. Perform abdominal bracing and maintain a flat back throughout the exercise (no arch in your spine). Lift both legs up so your feet are pointed to the ceiling. Find a position that is challenging but not straining by lowering both legs down. Begin scissoring your legs overtop one another alternating right leg on top then left leg on top known as horizontal scissors. Or you can do it vertically but scissoring your legs up and down.
The higher your legs, the easier it is. The lower your legs, the harder it is. You can either stay in one position or transition the scissoring motion up and down as your hip begins to bend. Focus on maintaining straight knees throughout this exercise.
(Start watching video at 45 second mark to see horizontal scissor kicks)
Double Leg Lowers
Lie on your back with your feet straight out in front of you. Perform abdominal bracing and maintain a flat back throughout the exercise (no arch in your spine). Lift both legs up so your feet are pointed to the ceiling. Lower both legs down together simultaneously until you are comfortable and are able to maintain the proper abdominal bracing position (flat spine). If your back begins to arch, you have gone too far. Begin to slowly raise both feet up to a 90 degree hip bend and then repeat. Maintain both knees to be as straight as possible throughout this motion.
Starting position is face down, elbows bent, shoulders directly over the elbows, knees on the floor. Gradually lift knees up off the floor as you support your weight on your elbows and toes only. Hold your body in a straight line, flat, without your butt sinking below or elevating above your shoulder height. Your head should be aligned straight, with your eyes looking down. Hold your core tight and breath as you maintain that position.
Start in a plank position with elbows extended and shoulders directly over top of your hands. Keep your feet on the floor with your knees straight. Maintain the plank position as you pull your right knee into your chest, then quickly switch legs by pulling your left knee in while your right leg goes back to starting position. Continue to alternate legs while holding your upper body at a flat level.
Begin by lying on your back in the same position your would do a crunch, knees bent and hands behind your head. Crunch up with head lifted off the floor and both knees in towards your chest. Extend your right leg to a 45 degree angle from the floor and at the same time twist to the left, bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Then alternate by extending your left leg as you twist to the right. Repeat.
Lie on your back with your feet straight out in front of you. Perform abdominal bracing and maintain a flat back throughout the exercise (no arch in your spine). Lift your shoulders, head and hands off the ground and maintain that position. Now lift both legs up so your feet are a few inches off the ground and begin to do little kicks up and down as you keep your knees straight and your back flat. Move your feet about 12 inches apart to make small kicks (rather than big scissor kicks).
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Engage your core by doing abdominal bracing and maintain a flat back during the entire exercise. Slowly raise both knees up so your hips are at a 90 degree angle to make a tabletop position. Lower one leg down to tap your heel gently on the floor, then slowly raise up to starting position. Alternate legs.
Lie on your side with your heels on top of one another. Position your elbow under your body so your shoulder is directly above your elbow. Gradually lift your hips off the ground as you support your weight through your bent elbow and your stacked feet. Place your upper arm along the side of your body. Maintain a tight core as you hold that position, keeping your spine in a straight line from the top of your head down to your feet.
Plank Hip Dips
Starting position is face down, elbows bent, shoulders directly over the elbows, knees on the floor. Gradually lift knees up off the floor as you support your weight on your elbows and toes only. Hold your body in a straight line, flat, without your butt sinking below or elevating above your shoulder height to maintain the standard plank position. Your head should be aligned straight, with your eyes looking down. Hold your core tight and breath as you begin to lower your hip to the right as close to the floor as possible. Return back to starting position and then lower your hip to the left as close to the floor as possible. Repeat and maintain a tight core througout the entire movement.
Did you ever think you could do a 10 minute ab workout with no rest breaks? Well, by the end of this 30-day challenge you will. And you’ll be so pumped to start the next month ready for anything new that comes your way.
You’ll be looking great, feeling great and ready for high intensity ab training. Can’t wait for you to complete this challenge!
Stick with me and join our private Facebook group where you will get encouragement from others similar to yourself who are going through this 30-day ab challenge. I’ll be there in the group to help motivate you every single day and answer any questions you may have.
Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
**It is important to always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and get medical clearance. Always warm up thoroughly and stretch after all workouts. LiveCoreStrong.com and Jena Bradley will be not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at home, gym or elsewhere. Perform exercises at your own risk.
About Dr. Jena Bradley
Jena is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey. She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena by visitng her ABOUT page.