Celebrities are known for their enviable physiques, and they often turn to proven workout routines to stay in shape. Now you can too. From Kaley Cuoco’s dynamic medicine ball throws to Chris Hemsworth’s intense circuit training, these star-endorsed exercises promise to trim belly fat effectively. Zoe Saldana swears by glute bridges on a Bosu ball for a strong core, while Jessica Biel opts for plank variations to sculpt her abs. Michael B. Jordan’s secret to a chiseled midsection involves bicycle crunches, while Vanessa Hudgens prefers straight leg crunches for a defined waistline. Jessica Alba’s go-to move, Russian twists with a medicine ball, targets obliques, and Hemsworth’s core circuit incorporates cross-body mountain climbers, kick sits, bicycle sit-ups, and flutter kicks for a comprehensive ab workout.
Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a beginner, these celeb-backed exercises offer a path to a flatter tummy. Read on to learn how to do them, with advice from an expert trainer about how they can work for you.
In a recent Instagram video, Kaley Cuoco’s personal trainer, Ryan Sorenson shared how the Big Bang Theory alum is staying in shape. The new mom has been hitting the gym hard and includes sit-ups with medicine ball throws in her routine, which you can see in the video.
How to Do It: To perform sit-ups with a medicine ball throw, start by lying on an exercise mat with your knees bent and feet flat. Hold the medicine ball close to your chest, engage your core, and exhale as you sit up, simultaneously extending your arms to throw the ball forward. Catch the ball as it returns, lower yourself back down, and repeat. Maintain proper form, gradually increase repetitions and weight, and consult a fitness professional if needed.
What the Expert Says: ACE-certified personal trainer TJ Mentus, who is also a USA Weightlifting Level 1 Trainer, tells us, “Adding the med ball throws to the sit-up forces the abs to produce more power than they usually would with a traditional sit-up. This can help to develop abs that are thicker in appearance creating a more defined 6-pack look. Because this exercise is more demanding, I only do it once a week in a workout. Perform 4-5 sets of 10 reps.”
Zoe Saldana doesn’t mess around when it comes to her workouts. The Guardians of the Galaxy star stays in shape with a healthy lifestyle and intense exercise moves. In a video, she posted on Instagram, the 45-year-old showed how she gets her abs–glute bridges on a bosu ball.
How to Do It: To do Glute Bridges on a Bosu ball, begin by lying on your back with your feet flat on the Bosu ball’s dome side, arms at your sides. Press through your heels, lift your hips, and engage your glutes as you form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause at the top, then lower your hips back down. This adds instability, engaging your core and glutes more. Aim for proper form, start with a few reps, and consult a fitness expert if you’re new to this exercise.
What the Expert Says: Mentus explains, “The bosu ball makes it harder for the body to stabilize itself, forcing the abs to engage more. As the hips rise in a bridge, the abs must keep tension to protect the low back. This works the deeper core stabilization muscles of the abs. Perform 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps twice a week.”
Jessica Biel is all about fitness and couple goals. She works out often with her husband Justin Timberlake and shared a video of the couple sweating it out at the gym. In the clip, the mom of two does a plank walkout, plank hip dips, plank shoulder taps, and side plank knee raises to keep her abs in shape.
How to Do It: To perform a plank walkout, start in a standing position, then hinge at your hips and place your hands on the floor. Walk your hands forward until you’re in a plank position, maintaining a straight line from head to heels. Then, reverse the movement, walking your hands back towards your feet and standing up. This exercise engages your core, shoulders, and arms. Begin with a few reps, focus on form, and seek guidance if you’re new to this exercise.
What the Expert Says: “These are multiple movements that are variations of a plank,” Mentus states. “The plank is effective because it forces you to hold your body up with your abs which engages the deeper core muscles. These variations then add movement to the plank, shifting the center of gravity, making balance more challenging, and strengthening the abs. I would go through each of these movements for 30 seconds. This workout could quickly be done 2-3 times weekly to build a stronger core.”
It’s undeniable that Michael B. Jordan has one of the best six-packs in Hollywood and he works hard for it. To get into shape for Creed III, the 36-year-old enlisted the help of trainer Corey Calliet who told Insider one of the ways Jordan got so toned is a variety of exercises including bicycle crunches.
How to Do It: To do Bicycle Crunches, lie on your back, place your hands behind your head, and lift your legs slightly off the ground. Bring one knee towards your chest as you simultaneously rotate your torso, bringing your opposite elbow towards the lifted knee. Alternate sides in a pedaling motion, engaging your core muscles. Start with a few reps on each side, prioritize proper technique, and get advice if you’re unfamiliar with this exercise.
What the Expert Says: According to Mentus, “Bicycle crunches involve all the abdominal muscles as the upper body twists and rotates, and the knees are alternately pulled into the chest. Primarily the obliques and lower abs will be targeted the most with this exercise. Try performing max reps for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds for 5 rounds. Try incorporating them into an ab workout two to three times a week to see results.”
Vanessa Hudgens has always been open about how making healthy choices is important for her and works out regularly to stay in shape. The actress was seen in a video for the gym Dogpound working on her abs by doing straight leg crunches.
How to Do It: For Straight Leg Crunches, lie on your back, extend your legs upward, and place your hands behind your head. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground, engaging your core. As you exhale, reach your hands towards your toes while lifting your upper back off the floor. Focus on contracting your abdominal muscles. Start with a few reps, maintain proper form, and seek guidance if you’re new to this exercise.
What the Expert Says: “This type of crunch places a lot of tension on the abs as they have to squeeze tight to lift the hands to the feet while holding the legs up,” says Mentus. “The position puts the abs into deep flexion, making it an effective ab exercise, forcing them to contract fully. Perform 5 sets of 20 reps 1-2 times a week.”
Jessica Alba might be busy running her Honest empire and raising three kids, but she doesn’t skip workouts. The Sin City star posted a video of how she gets her killer abs, which includes Russian twists with a medicine ball.
How to Do It: To perform Russian Twists with a medicine ball, sit on the floor, knees bent, and feet flat. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight. Hold the medicine ball with both hands and lift your feet off the ground. Rotate your torso to one side, bringing the medicine ball beside your hip, then twist to the other side. The movement engages your oblique muscles. Start with a few reps on each side, prioritize good form, and consult a fitness expert if you’re new to this exercise.
What the Expert Says: Mentus says, “These challenge the obliques on the sides that can be harder to hit. Rotational movements like this are great for the abs because it works the entire core to perform the movement well. Not only are you rotating, but you are also using the abs to hold the torso and legs off the ground as you sit on your butt. The added weight of a med ball only makes the movement more challenging as you have to control its momentum. Perform 4 sets of 10 twists on each side twice a week.”
It’s not easy being the God of Thunder and it takes a massive effort on Chris Hemsworth’s part to get into shape to play the role. He recently shared how he gets his insane abs and it’s not for beginners. In an Instagram post, he shared his circuit training core workout.
- “Cross-body mountain climbers (20 reps)
- Kick sits (20 reps)
- Bicycle sit-ups (20 reps)
- Flutter kicks (20 reps)
- Rest 20 seconds. 4 working sets”
How to Do It:
- Cross-body mountain climbers involve starting in a plank position, with your hands placed beneath your shoulders. Alternately bring your knees towards your opposite elbow, crossing your body. This exercise engages your core and upper body. Begin with a few reps on each side, ensure a straight back, and seek guidance if you’re new to this exercise.
- Kick sits, also known as kick-throughs, are done by starting in a plank position and then lifting one hand off the ground as you kick your opposite leg under your body and extend it out to the side. This movement engages your core and requires flexibility. Begin with a few reps on each side, focus on stability, and consult a fitness professional if you’re new to this exercise.
- Bicycle sit-ups involve lying on your back, hands behind your head, and lifting your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. Simultaneously, bring one knee towards your chest while twisting your torso to bring your opposite elbow towards the lifted knee. Alternate sides in a pedaling motion, engaging your core. Start with a few reps, prioritize proper form, and seek guidance if you’re new to this exercise.
- Flutter kicks are performed by lying on your back with your hands under your hips or by your sides. Lift your legs slightly off the ground and alternate kicking them up and down in a fluttering motion. This engages your lower abs and hip flexors. Begin with a few reps, keep your lower back pressed into the floor, and consult a fitness expert if you’re new to this exercise.
What the Expert Says: According to Mentus, “This circuit will be very demanding on the abs because of the volume of reps with brief rest and movements that hit the abs from different angles. This will create that burning feeling in the abs, making them very sore from the muscles being broken down the next day. I would only do this workout once weekly since the abs will need time to recover fully.”