TOP 12 abs exercises without hurting your back

You want it, that's for sure. We all want it! Woman or man, young or old. What do we want?

Obtain a flat stomach and, if possible, visible abs. And yes, but first, what are the best abs exercises to get there?

Because you have already tried everything. Admit it…

You even sometimes broke your back for wanting to do too much. And yet, she is still there, this fat ROGNTUDJUU of ROGNTUDJUU! (thanks to Prunelle from BD Gaston Lagaffe for this swear word)

How do you get rid of it?

Want the truth?

You need these 2 things:

  1. Good exercises to develop your muscles, and not only the abdominal strap Besides.
  2. A voucher diet, the one that suits your needs. We'll talk a bit about that at the end...

That's all.

Today what I'm going to give you is worth gold for achieve your goal and strengthen the abs.

Because this question often comes up:

What are the best moves for the core? Yes, you know, the one that should replace the abdominal strap! (sorry for the pun, I couldn't resist)

Let's first talk about moves to avoid.

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Movements to limit or avoid

When I talk about abs, what probably comes to mind are crunches and sit-ups.

While these bodyweight exercises are great for the core, they do have the downside of putting a lot of stress on the lower back.

According to Dr. Stuart McGill, professor of spinal biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, repetitive movements that consist of bending the spine are the best way to damage the lower back.

As Mr. McGill says, few back problems stem from a single event. Most back injuries are the result of damage accumulating over time.

This is indeed the case with certain movements for the abs. Well, I must admit that I do some of them, but they only represent a fraction of my sessions.

How to build abs without hurting your back?

The basic rule is to choose exercises for build your abs without ever straining the back. This is the case with planks, dead bugs, reverse crunches and other exercises that work the abdominal strap. without bending the spine. Indeed, the back remains straight during all these movements, sometimes even in contact with the ground.

abs exercises without back pain
How to do abs without hurting your back?

And it is precisely about these that I am going to speak to you now.

You can do them just about anywhere:

The plank and its variations for the abs

It's the king to get a flat stomach in record time and to keep it. The plank is an isometric exercise, that is to say that the muscles are solicited without moving. So it's easy to do sit-ups without hurting your back with this one.

If you had to keep only one for your midsection, this is the one. Point bar.

Especially since these multiple variants meet all your needs.

If you don't believe me, try it.

Why is this exercise so effective, much more than the others, to find a flat stomach?

Because it works the deep muscles of the abdomen. Which means your belly will naturally become flatter because the muscles below the surface will firm up, become more toned.

It is therefore the ideal position for women who have had pregnancies, or men whose belly fat has stretched the underlying muscles.

ALSO READ:  The 6 Best Elastic Shoulder Exercises at Home

This is why your belly can quickly become flat again, even if you have a little fat left.

Adjustable dumbbells 40kg

A bit of my experience

I discovered this isometric exercise thanks to the application VT Suspension during my workouts with the TRX straps.

What surprised me from the first weeks was this feeling I had when I stood up after doing RKC boards (see later). You know, the feeling you get when you tuck your belly in. In reality, it is the muscles of the abdominal strap that pull everything back.

Normally, you need to make a conscious effort to pull in your stomach. Except that when you plank regularly, this feeling becomes natural. Your deep muscles are firmed, and therefore your stomach becomes flat again naturally.

And that's exactly what happened to me. It is magic !

Here are 12 fabulous movements for your sessions. Without doubt the best.

The 12 best abs exercises without hurting your back

You will discover the main variants of the plank as well as some other exercises for the abdominal strap. Add these as soon as possible to your weekly sessions:

1. The board (basic)

I added "basic" because you have to do this exercise first if you are a beginner.

Abs exercises - plank
Board (source:

Your position resembles the initial position of a push-up. Your back and legs should form as straight a line as possible.

You should feel the tension in the abs, but not in the back muscles.

Hold this position for 1 minute if you can.

As soon as you can easily hold 1 minute, I advise you to move on to the following plank shapes to progress further.

2. RKC plank: Reference abs exercise

The Russian Kettlebell Challenge Plank of its little name seems very easy at first sight.

abs exercises - RKC plank
Good abs exercise without hurting your back

But make no mistake about it, it is much more difficult than the previous one because all your muscles must remain contracted.

Your feet are in contact and you must press them against each other throughout the exercise.

You press your fists together while your shoulders are pushed forward using your pecs. To make the position even more challenging, try bringing your elbows down to increase tension in your core.


3. Body Saws

The position of this abs exercise without hurting your back is about the same as for the previous one.

The only difference is that you will be moving your body back and forth instead of remaining completely static.

I admit that I really like this variant to give me a little more juice when I'm at the end of the session. Otherwise, I use it for the 1st minute, then contract everything for the next minute to do an RKC plank.

Abs exercises - body saw
Body saw (source:

But, only do this one if you have complete control over your body during the movement. Otherwise, you risk bending your back a little.

4. Plank 3 support points

By reducing the points of contact with the ground, you will increase the difficulty.

abs exercises without hurting your back - plank 3 supports

From RKC board position:

  • Raise one leg as pictured and hold this position
  • Keep your body firmly balanced and your back straight
  • Switch legs every 5-10 seconds

5. Plank 2 support points

Watch out, it gets tough!

You will put a strain on your balance, which will further increase the tension in the muscles of the abdominal strap. Even the glutes are involved.

abs exercises - plank 2 supports

Sometimes I try to lift one more arm, but it doesn't work well 😀

From RKC board position:

  • Raise one leg and opposite arm as pictured and hold this position
  • Keep your body firmly balanced and your back straight
  • Switch legs and arms every 5-10 seconds

6. Side plank or side plank

This ab exercise works many small muscles that are often overlooked, including contracting the transverse muscle and the obliques (large and small obliques) on each side.

ALSO READ:  TOP 15 female abs exercises for a flat stomach

These muscles are however extremely important for your strength, appearance and overall sheathing. Your love handles will take a hit...

Abs exercises - side plank or side plank
Side plank (source:

You will see that the young woman used many boards to cover the wall behind her 😀 So she had put them aside. Haha!

This position is more difficult to hold than the others. I therefore recommend that you hold 5 to 10 seconds per side at the beginning, alternating.

Here, you have enough boards to make shelves 😉 I had to put that one too...

Now let's move on to other abs exercises, more or less difficult.

7. Dead Bugs

This is an exercise that seems easy, but it is not.

Abs exercises - dead bug
Deadbug (source:

If you find it easy while performing it, you're probably not doing it well.

Your back should stay glued to the floor throughout the set, which means you should keep your abdominal muscles tight.

Movements should be slow and controlled.

See how to execute it perfectly on this video:

8. Reverse Crunches

"Hey Stéphane, wasn't it you who said to avoid crunches at the beginning?"

Yes, this is true for traditional crunches where you have to lift your chest. But as the name suggests here, it is about the opposite movement.

On the contrary, it will improve your posture rather than damage your back.

reverse crunch abs exercises
Reverse crunch (source:

You will raise your legs to the square (see the photo), then bring your legs back towards your bust while breathing deeply. Then return to the starting position and repeat for 1 minute.

Keep abdominal muscles tight throughout the exercise and hands flat on the floor. This is arguably the easiest move in the series with the basic plank, but you shouldn't neglect it.

9.Hollow Body Hold

Its name probably won't tell you much. Yet it is one of the first exercises that gymnasts learn for their training.

It is a fundamental position that requires total tension in the body, starting with the abdominals. It works the upper and lower abdominals at the same time.

Here is a video example:

Even if you are not a gymnast, this isometric position will be extremely beneficial to you. It will help you progress in most strength training exercises, including squats.

10.TRX Fallouts

The English name could be translated as “falling with TRX straps”. I can't find the appropriate name since you control the movement from end to end. But OK…

In any case, it is considered by many specialists as one of the best exercises for the abdominal strap. Normally, the ideal is to do this kind of movement with an abdominal wheel (click to see on Amazon).

But if you have hanging straps which are really great for building muscle at home, you can do TRX fallout instead.

A short demonstration video to understand:

Obviously, as always with straps, you can increase the difficulty by leaning more and more forward. The closer you are to the ground, the stronger the abdominal muscle contraction will be.

However, be careful not to arch your back.

11. Mountain climbers

This abs exercise, you will sweat it to lose belly, build your abdominal muscles and tone your thighs at the same time. The mountain climbers are really effective for working several muscle groups at the same time.

It's a movement that I really like, but it requires a lot of energy. And precisely, the energy or the calories, you must burn as much as possible to lose fat.

I would describe it as a mix of running in place and planking. In addition to the rectus, the transverse as well as the large and small obliques are solicited.

Here's a video that shows you how to do it:

Follow the advice in this video to perform them correctly, without lifting your buttocks too much.

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Your body should stay relatively straight throughout the set, as you try to bring each knee up to the level of the opposite shoulder alternately. 

Do as many reps as you can, aiming for 50-100 at a high pace.

As it requires a ton of energy, I advise you not to do it at the end of the session, when your abdominal strap is already tired.

12. Leg raises with a pull-up bar

To do this very difficult abdominal exercise, you need a solid pull up bar or a roman chair (see models below). It seems fairly easy at first sight, but that's a false impression.

This movement is very difficult. To start, I recommend that you keep your legs bent at 45° like this:

Abs exercises - Beginner leg raises
Leg lifts for beginners (source:

Later, when your core is solid, you can try keeping your legs straight.

Watch in the following video how Amanda controls movement. His body does not swing. This is the correct way to do it:

Some of these exercises are available in video on the free VT Bodyweight app. Download it, because it's really great for organizing your sessions and finding good abdominal exercises.

riijk Traction Bar Door | Compact Roman Chair | Dips Bar |...
Amazon brand-Umi Chin-up bar, adjustable pull-up bar from 1 TP4T039;...
ISE Chin-Up Bar, Fitness Bar Wall Mounted Ceiling...
riijk Traction Bar Door | Roman chair Compact | Dips Bar |...
Amazon brand-Umi Chin Up Bar, Adjustable One Step Chin Up Bar...
ISE Chin-Up Bar, Fitness Bar Wall Mounted Ceiling...
Our opinion
Practical and solid at the same time. Pay attention to the size of the door frame before buying.
The safest pull-up bar without bindings. Always check the strength of your door frames.
Intensive use. It is ideal for use and the strongest. But it remains attached to the wall.
Our rating
Current price
49,99 €
39,29 €
35,98 €
Click for more information
riijk Traction Bar Door | Compact Roman Chair | Dips Bar |...
riijk Traction Bar Door | Compact Roman Chair | Dips Bar |...
Our opinion
Practical and solid at the same time. Pay attention to the size of the door frame before buying.
Our rating
Current price
49,99 €
Click for more information
Amazon brand-Umi Chin-up bar, adjustable pull-up bar from 1 TP4T039;...
Amazon brand-Umi Chin Up Bar, Adjustable One Step Chin Up Bar...
Our opinion
The safest pull-up bar without bindings. Always check the strength of your door frames.
Our rating
Current price
39,29 €
Click for more information
ISE Chin-Up Bar, Fitness Bar Wall Mounted Ceiling...
ISE Chin-Up Bar, Fitness Bar Wall Mounted Ceiling...
Our opinion
Intensive use. It is ideal for use and the strongest. But it remains attached to the wall.
Our rating
Current price
35,98 €
Click for more information

Conclusion on the best abs exercises

That's it, are you ready to have a flat stomach, to build your abdominal strap like crazy? Don't wait to get started, you'll see how good it feels 😉

You will also find on this blog this excellent article on the exercises to strengthen the abs and glutes the same time.

Keep in mind that doing sit-ups is the basis of any sports program. No athlete can be successful without a good abs program. It is the basis of all sports, including pétanque and curling. 

And above all, it is the foundation, the starting point for a flat stomach. 

However, you should never neglect the importance of a balanced diet, otherwise all your efforts to lose belly fat will be for naught...

This is exactly what I teach you to do in this extremely comprehensive program. Click the button below to find out:

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Last updated on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Some images are sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API

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