How To Do An Ab Reverse Curl

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrates Ab Reverse Curls

The Ab Reverse Curl is an abdominal exercise that strengthens the transverse abdominus, helping flatten your belly and strengthen your entire core. Often times, when we do ab exercises, we’re not really targeting that transverse abdominus which are considered your lower abs. This move, working in “reverse” helps to target that area and tone up your low abs fast, helping you get rid of a poochy stomach while also increase core strength and stability.

Use these links to quickly navigate this guide:


Enter your email & get this article sent to your inbox.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    How To Do Ab Reverse Curls:

    Here’s how you do it!

    1) Lie on mat and extend your legs straight up towards the ceiling.

    2) As you exhale, tighten your low belly to push your feet straight into the air. Hips will lift slightly off the mat.

    3) Return you hips and lower back to the mat with control. Use your abdominals vs. momentum to create the movement and avoid rolling onto the neck

    What Muscles Do Ab Reverse Curls Work?

    Ab reverse curls are a core body exercise that strengthen all of your core muscles especially your lower abs, also known as your transverse abdominus. Learning how to do ab reverse curls helps create stronger abs and a healthier low back. This move is not supposed to be big. Especially if you are a beginner, be sure to close your eyes and focus on pulling your lower abs in more than you focus on how far your body curls off the floor. Another way to modify if it is too difficult is to keep your knees bent throughout the move.

    Benefits of Ab Reverse Curls

    There are many reasons you should incorporate ab reverse curls into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    Stronger Abs

    Ab reverse curls are an amazing ab exercise that truly challenges your entire abdominal wall but especially focuses on your low abs. The low abs, or “transverse abdominus”, is also known as your “powerhouse.” That is because though this muscle is relatively small, it is compact and very strong. It is the muscle that pulls your tummy in tight, keeps your abs flat, and protects your lower back.

    Stronger Low Back

    Your transverse abdominus plays another extremely important role. This muscle so intensely helps to strengthen those muscles that surround your mid-section that when it is strong it helps to prevent low back injury and gives you better posture.

    Better Core Stability

    Ab reverse curls force you to draw your transverse abdominus in to help provide stability in fitness and in real life situations. For instance, slipping and falling can be dangerous, but with a strong core you are more likely to walk away without injury. Same goes for your athletic pursuits. A strong core is going to make you a better athlete overall and help you to perform at your max.

    How Many Calories Do Ab Reverse Curls Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at high intensity. Ab reverse curls are an intense ab move that won’t burn as many calories as running or swimming, but will give you results you want in your core.

    Other Exercises Similar to Ab Reverse Curls

    If you like ab reverse curl and the results you get from them, here are a few more exercises you might want to try.

    1. How To Do Leg Drops
    2. How To Do Bend Extend Ab Tuck
    3. How To Do Double Leg Stretch

    Incorporating Ab Reverse Curl Into Your Workouts

    Ab reverse curls are a great exercise to do anywhere, anytime! However, you could also incorporate ab reverse curls into other workouts to add a core strength element or to mix-up your work. Here are some ideas to get you started.

    Use Ab Reverse Curls In a Core Strength Workout

    The best core workouts are going to include moves that focus on all different parts of the core. This workout uses ab reverse curl for the lower abs, but gives you moves to work on your obliques, upper abs and lower back.

    All Around Ab Workout: Try each of the following moves for the number of reps listed.

    Oblique Crunch – 15 Reps per side

    Ab Reverse Curl – 15 reps

    Hip Dips – 16 Total Reps

    Swimming – 30 seconds

    Side To Side Obliques – 16 Total Reps

    Toe Touch With Reach – 12 Reps

    (repeat if desired)

    Use Ab Reverse Curls In a Cardio Workout

    Cardio workouts are fun to do and make you feel great. The problem is that often people fall into the habit or relying on cardio as their only exercise program. Adding ab reverse curls to a cardio workout makes sense because it strengthens the core while keeping your heart pumping. Ab reverse curls is in this next workout that can be done at home with no equipment. Check it out!

    15-Minute At-Home Cardio Workout: No Equipment needed. Just get ready to work hard and get that body in shape in 15 minutes!

    Warm up by marching or jogging lightly for 1 minute. Then do 4 inchworms to get the body ready for movement. Perform each move below one minute. When you get to the end go back to the top and repeat one more time.

    Squat Jumps

    Upper Cuts


    Mountain Climbers


    Ab Reverse Curl

    Repeat the sequence one more time!

    Use Ab Reverse Curls In A Full Body Strength Workout

    An all-over strength workout requires core training to be part of the equation. Ab reverse curls are the perfect move to slide in between other exercises to work your core while your other muscles are resting between moves.

    Full Body Strength Challenge: This workout uses ab reverse curls in addition to covering every muscle group! Grab a medium pair of dumbbells and go from one move directly to the next. Make sure you repeat 2 times!

    Push-Ups – 12 reps

    Plank Jacks – 12 reps

    Bicep Curl Lunge – 12 Reps

    Tricep Overhead Extensions – 12 Reps

    Squat Thruster – 12 Reps

    Shoulder Front Raise – 12 Reps

    Cross Behind Lunge Lateral Raise – 12 Reps

    Straight Arm Press Back – 12 Reps

    Reverse Grip Double Arm Row – 12 Reps

    Ab Reverse Curl – 12 Reps

    Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate ab reverse curls you might want to try:

    15-Minute Workout To Get Rid of Lower Belly Pooch

    15-Minute Jump Rope and Body Weight Home Circuit Workout

    One Song Workouts!

    Targets: core

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
    Skip to content