Celebrity AB FAB

Sort your heatwave overhang with these a-list abs blasters


by Samantha Wood |
Published on

This summer has been a right old long one, hasn’t it? We’ve lost count of the number of barbeques munched, cheeky after-work Aperols sipped and Maxi Bons cooled off with. If you want to get your waist back after the heatwave indulging and in time for winter (mmm… mince pies), here’s how the celeb crowd sort out their six packs.


Do yoga like Jennifer Aniston

For the past 10 years Jen has sworn by a 40-minute morning yoga session and claims that not only her abs but her leaner legs, stronger arms and inner core strength are all thanks to a six day a week programme (she always has Sundays off) of toning yogi poses. “Yoga and Pilates are famous for helping you achieve the ultimate flat stomach because one of the key principles is teaching you how to work out with a strong, stable centre,” says Lynne Robinson, founder of Body Control Pilates who has taught Paloma Faith. “The Single Leg Stretch is a killer abdominal exercise which is very challenging and will give you the ultimate ab workout.”


GRAB HER ABS: Lie on a mat with your knees bent and pelvis level. Breathe in and as you breathe out engage your core muscles by pulling up through your pelvic floor. Fold one knee up, followed by the other. Now open your knees slightly and softly point your toes. Breathe in and as you breathe out, nod your head and sequentially wheel your neck and upper body off the mat. Place your hands onto the outside of your shinbones. Breathe to the back of your ribcage as you hold the curled-up position. Breathe out as you straighten your right leg in line with the hip whilst simultaneously placing the right hand on the left knee and gently drawing the left leg towards you. Switch legs and hands and repeat up to five times.

Do boxing like Gigi Hadid


Gigi Hadid is the owner of a stellar modelling career, hot boyfriend (oh hi, Zayn!) and a taut tummy. But keeping her physique in check isn’t just about looking good. “Working out isn’t only physical for me. It’s mental,” she admits. “It’s the only time my mind goes quiet.” Gigi works out for an hour every day and a typical session sees the model switch back and forth between cardio-friendly boxing and strenuous floor work to keep her core engaged. “A lot of people assume boxing just works your arms, it is amazing for maintaining a strong core,” explains BXR London trainer Tanya Morgan, who has worked with Dua Lipa. “A strong core is vital in boxing as we rotate to generate power so my ultimate move starts before the gloves go on, on the mat in a plank. Your whole body has to work giving you a strong core to get those abs back.”


GRAB HER ABS: A basic plank is simple: Hold a push-up position with your elbows bent 90 degrees and both forearms resting on the floor. Position your elbows directly underneath your shoulders and look straight toward the floor. Your body should be in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Hold for 30 seconds and rest for 30. Repeat five times. As you get used to holding a basic plank there are lots of variations that keep it interesting.

Do HIIT like Ariana Grande


Pint-sized pop star Ariana Grande credits her rock-hard abs to her trainer Harvey Pasternak’s obsession with steps. “For the longest time, I was like, ‘How is more effective than doing a full-fledged workout?’ But it really is,” she says. Because Ariana’s lifestyle is hectic, she also relies on quick HIIT (High Intensity Impact Training) workouts that she can do anywhere and with whatever time her schedule will allow. She alternates between daily sessions of 150 backward lunges, 150 pike planks and 150 superman exercises whilst making sure she gets in at least 12,000 steps. “High Intensity Interval Training shreds body fat which will make your abs pop out,” says Bradley Simmonds, UK ambassador for F45 training, who trains Louise Redknapp. “There are loads of compound movements you can incorporate like squat jumps and burpees but I especially rate the Cross Body Mountain Climber that will strengthen your abs.”


GRAB HER ABS: Start in a push up position. Extend your legs out behind you and place your hands directly under your shoulders with fingers facing forward. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Keeping your abs braced, pick up your right foot and slowly bring your right knee toward your left shoulder. Then return to start. Switch and bring your left knee toward your right shoulder. The faster you go, the more body fat you will shred. The slower you go, the more engaged your abs will be. Start with 30 seconds followed by a 30 second rest. Repeat five sets before moving on to squat jumps or burpees.


Do conditioning mat work like Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian might seem like the most body confident woman in the world, but just like the rest of us it’s something she constantly has to work at. She recently enlisted the help of PT Melissa Alcantara who is a fan of mixing HIIT with low-level intensity training and core conditioning mat work, dedicating one day a week ‘entirely to abs’. “Doing something simple like a Reverse Crunch is one of the easiest conditioning mat exercises to execute as it’s very difficult to get wrong, unlike many other ab exercises,” says Ultimate Performance Personal Trainer Elliot Upton, a personal trainer from Ultimate Performance who has trained Gemma Atkinson. “Many other core exercises are usually poorly executed and bypass the abs in favour of overactive hip flexors, so a variation of crunches recruit the most muscles and should be your go to exercise.”


GRAB HER ABS: Lie on your back with your arms above your head and secured under something heavy like a sofa. Make sure your lower back is flat to the floor. With legs bent, raise your knees to your nipples. Make sure you’re squeezing your abs as you raise your knees. If you’re struggling to keep your feet in the same position then squeeze a foam roller or something similar underneath your knees as you do the exercise. Lower the legs back to the starting position and that is one reverse crunch. Repeat 10 times before moving onto normal crunches and V-sits.

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