Best Peloton Classes For Washboard Abs (Full list)


One of the best things you can do to get a rock-solid midsection, improve posture, and reduce the risk of lower back pain is to do more core-centered wokrouts.

Today I will unravel everything there is to know about peloton ab workouts, which ones are effective, and (most importantly) how to add them to your weekly workout plan.

picture of six pack abs

In general, the peloton does have over 1,000 ab workouts available in their digital app. It has also three core programs that last for 4 weeks each. All classes include exercises that help to prevent some of the most common cycling injuries, as well as provide a foundation to maximize power transfer and improve performance.

Here is my takeaway but if you wanna know more details on the benefits of core training and which peloton classes should you choose to get abs that never go away, keep reading.

How does peloton work your abs?

In general, riding the peloton bike partially works your abs because it involves constant side-to-side motion from your hips and pelvis during the pedal strokes. It also requires constant core stability to maintain correct cycling mechanics.

For me, it wasn’t always the case.

At the beginning (on most days) I simply forgot to keep my abs tight, especially during long-distance rides. This led to muscle fatigue and caused lower back pain.

So one thing that I want to take away from this article is to keep your core activated throughout the class (this can help you not only with abs but also prevent back problems).

How to keep your core tight during peloton rides

  • To keep the abs tight on the peloton you need to engage your core muscles at 20 to 40 percent of your peak contraction.
  • Light muscle activity is enough to create intra-abdominal pressure that keeps the spine in a neutral position.
  • At the same time, this will allow you to breathe comfortably, without muscle fatigue.

However, for people who just getting started, it is hard to keep the muscle engaged throughout the whole 30 – 45 minute class (or more).

Thankfully, peloton offers hundreds of core classes that help you work on your muscle strength and endurance (more on that later).

Does peloton give you abs?

As a whole, riding the peloton bike alone is not enough to develop strong and powerful core muscles.

On the one hand, riding the peloton bike does improve abs becasue it requires keeping the core engaged throughout the class.

This is essential not only for pelvis stability but also to prevent lower back pain.

On the other hand, a peloton bike alone cannot build or tone abs becasue isometric contraction is not enough to stimulate muscular hypertrophy and build strength.

You won’t get abs from Peloton alone

You won’t get washboard abs from cycling.

In order to get abs, improve cycling performance, and prevent back pain problems, I recommend adding abs workouts to your peloton workout plan that you do off the bike.

Why you should do Peloton core workouts?

There are several reasons why you should add Peloton ab classes into your weekly routine, especially if you plan to ride peloton twice a day.

For me, the goal was not only to get six-pack abs but also to be able to ride my bike longer and not feel so tired by the end of the ride.

(Frankly, that’s the same goal as most of my clients.)

Peloton abs workouts help to reduce core fatigue

One of the things that I’ve noticed after doing regular core conditioning classes is that my posture was “better” and I was able to maintain tight abs for longer.

Before (on most days) I was able to ride the bike with “abs engaged” for only 15-20 minutes.

That was it.

Once I passed 20 minutes, my body started to bounce left and right to find stability.

After doing peloton crush your core, a 4-week core conditioning program with Emma Lovewell, my abs not only got tighter, but I was also able to stay out of saddle for much longer.

Peloton abs classes help to reduce injury risk

John Abt, Ph.D., a researcher from the University of Pittsburgh says “weak abdominal muscles can alter cycling mechanics”.

“These changes can increase the risk of injury because the knee joint is potentially exposed to greater stress,” says Dr. Abt.

According to Dr. Abt, the best way to strengthen the weak abdominal muscles that are responsible for posture and stability is by doing low-intensity high-rep core exercises.

Peloton abs workouts work on slow-twitch muscle fibers

“Abdominal muscle fiber composition is different than other muscles like quads or glutes,” says Dr. Abt.

Core muscles include:

  • Rectus abdominis
  • Obliquus externus abdominis
  • Obliquus internus abdominis
  • Transversus abdominis

See the picture below.

picture of abdominal muscles
Muscles in the core and mainly slow-twitch

Most of these muscles are made of 55-58% of Type 1 muscle fibers, which is slow. This means the best way to improve their strength is by doing low-intensity high-rep exercises.

In other words, you should not do weighted sit-ups with heavy peloton dumbbells or kettlebells.

You should not do weighted planks with bumper plates on the back.

You should not do explosive high-impact core and ab workouts.

These are great ways to increase the size of fast-twitch muscle fibers, but they are less effective to improve postural muscles.

Peloton abs classes use exercises to improve postural muscles

What I like about the peloton abs wokrouts is they include plenty of low-intensity abs exercises that focus mainly on muscular endurance and postural muscles.

In general, postural muscles work to sustain your posture for a long period of time against gravity.

This means you focus on a higher number of reps (12 or more).

You focus on a slower tempo (increasing time-under-tension).

You use shorter rest periods.

Basically doing regular peloton ab classes resulted not only in better performance (I was able to ride my bike longer) without feeling tired so quickly anymore.

Where can I find ab workouts on Peloton?

In general, you can find ab workouts in the Peloton digital app in various class categories like strength, cardio, boot camp, or even yoga.

Some of the ab workouts are focused just on abs, whereas others incorporate several ab exercises, as well as other full-body movements.

Best Peloton Classes For Abs

Yes, I can say that I’m addicted to core workouts (still don’t have that six-pack. I like to feel the burn so I try and test a lot of classes (I still wait for my century shirt).

In the list below, you can find some of the best peloton classes for abs (including peloton programs), together with detailed explanations and recommendations.

1. Crush Your Core

crush your core peloton

I feel nostalgic about this one becasue it was my first full 4-week core-centered program.

Crush your core peloton is number one on the list as this class has been taken by over 1 million people. This class is a great way not only to get the results but also to develop a habit of core workouts.

In a nutshell.

  • Crush your core peloton is a 4-week core training program available in the peloton app.
  • It includes 22 core classes that range between 5 to 15 minutes.
  • This is one of the most popular core workouts done by Emma Lovewell.

What I like

This workout can be done by all levels of fitness because Emma provides a lot of modifications with each class.

This program is good for abs because it applies progressive overload principles (this means you slowly increase the duration and intensity of classes with each consecutive week).

What I dislike

I think this program could be longer. I know that every Saturday, Emma adds a new core session to the peloton library, which technically can be done as the continuation of the crush your core program.

Of course, there is also the second part of this program as peloton released Crush Your Core 2.

How to find crush your core on the peloton app?

To find crush your core on the peloton app you need to go to the programs tab, not the classes.

The thumbnail of the program has a black background, and the picture of Emma Lovewell doing a side plank.

It has also a white letter with a “core” word in the middle.

2. Strong Core Strong Body

best peloton ab class german language

Irene Scholz has a 28 days beginner-to-intermediate core program called strong core strong body.

In a nutshell.

  • Peloton strong core strong body peloton is a series of 22 classes spread across 4 weeks that is designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
  • Each week have 5-6 sessions that are initially locked and going through them one by one unlocks the next class.

This program is all about doing abs from all different angles. The exercises include planks, sit-ups, and leg raises.

What I like

I like that each class has multiple abs exercises (more than a typical ab workout). Basically, the exercises are challenging.

In fact, I find that German classes are a little bit more intense, compared to English classes.

Fitness is really popular in Germany, which means a lot of people are active.

According to statista.com, Germany and Italy have the biggest fitness market in Europe.

What I dislike

The only caveat is the language barrier.

The strong core strong body peloton is in German.

However, you can still follow the class as Irene slowly transition from one exercise to another and gives challenging sessions.

I’ve noticed that with the core, as well as with the cycling classes, the intensity is higher, compared to regular English-speaking classes.

3. Core Strength

how to find peloton core strength

Core strength peloton is a perfect option for everyone who just wants to do a quick workout, without starting the whole 4 weeks program.

In a nutshell.

  • Core strength peloton is a combination of ab exercises that require either bodyweight or weights.
  • The class includes three to four rounds of doing an abdominal sequence of moves, back to back.
  • Each sequence has four to five exercises that focus on the upper and lower abs, as well as the lower back and glutes.

What I like

This class is good for abs because it combines all types of core exercises that target the core from all different angles (even standing).

You can work abs from a standing position by lifting the knee above the hip level.

This engages hip flexors, as well as internal obliques and the rectus abdominis muscle. I like standing abs exercises because it helps to reduce my neck tension, compared to crunches or situps.

They are also a great alternative for seniors or people who have limited mobility and cannot get on and off the floor easily.

They include standing abs moves, stability planks, twists, leg raises, back extensions, sit-ups, and more.

I like to take classes with Rad because he has a good pace, where you can push yourself, but still, have enough time to recover. This means you can do quick ab workouts even after your running or cycling.

I also like Rebeca Kennedy because she has the toughest abs workouts in the peloton.

Doing her 20-minute class three times a week is more than enough to get your abs visible (as long as you can maintain your peloton diet and calorie deficit.

What I dislike

One thing that I don’t like is the class structure.

Longer classes (15 minutes or more) are often similar to full-body workouts. Only shorter 5 and 10-minute classes work only on your core.

4. Peloton Pilates

peloton core workout pilates

There are just over 60 peloton pilates classes available in the peloton app (yes, this is not the most popular category). However, this is one of the best ways to improve core stability.

In a nutshell.

  • The pilates method is centered on performing exercises that help to isolate those small muscles that are hard to get.
  • Pilates exercises help to engage all deep core muscles including multifidus, internal and external obliques, pelvic floor muscles, transverses abdominis, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and diaphragm.

The difference between peloton pilates and regular core class is that pilates targets the small stabilizing muscles that cannot be reached during regular crunches or situps.

Christine E. Di Lorenzo, PT, DPT, a physical therapist from New York, says that “doing crunches and situps engage large muscles with fast-twitch fibers, which is good for muscle growth.”

“On the other hand, the engagement of large muscles inhibits the activity of the peripheral lumbar spine stability musculature,” says Dr. Lorenzo.

In other words, Pilates is more effective in developing muscular endurance in the deep core muscles.

What I like

I like to do peloton Pilates as a way to activate my muscles before doing any other type of workout (cycling or running).

I also use pilates on my days off from training as a part of active recovery. A 10-minute low-impact work helps to down-regulate and de-stress.

What I dislike

One drawback of peloton pilates is that they do not have many classes to choose from. Currently, there are 64 classes and each month peloton adds 4-5 new workouts.

Also, this is not the class to develop six-pack abs. This is great to improve your posture, reduce back pain, and help with better performance, but it won’t give you washboard abs.

5. HIIT Cardio

HIIT cardio is one of the hardest peloton classes available on the app. This is the class that will make your tummy muscles burn and sore the next day (seriously).

In a nutshell.

  • The HIIT cardio is a subcategory of the peloton cardio classes. This is a series of high-intensity intervals with a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio.
  • The class includes rounds of circuit training-style exercise sequences (with or without the weights) that cover the whole body.

What I like

The HIIT cardio peloton is good for abs because it includes several high-impact and plyometrics-style exercises that target your lower abs.

The classes include exercises like jumping, running in place, side-to-side motion, or single-leg movements.

Of course, jumping or doing high knees doesn’t “work” on your abs directly.

But keeping your core tight during those moves actually stimulates the muscle more than when doing simple squats or push-ups.

I also like those classes because they are the perfect alternative when I don’t have access to my peloton bike or gym. It is also good if you like to work out in a group of people.

I like to go HIIT cardio when I’m traveling or I’m in the morning rush to get out of the door as quickly as possible.

During those times, doing the 20-minutes workout is more than enough to break the sweat, get my heart rate up, and get more energy for the day.

It is also convenient when I’m stuck in a hotel room without access to the gym. So doing the HIIT cardio not only helps to burn calories but also works on my core at the same time.

What I dislike

One of the disadvantages of these workouts is they can be tough on the body, especially for beginners.

(This type of workout is very similar to the popular Shaun T program, Insanity, as well as T25.)

You can read more about how I compared Peloton vs Beachbody in my article here.

6. Bootcamp Core

peloton core bootcamp

Bootcamp class is part of the new peloton series where you use both cardio equipment like bike or tread, together with doing full-body exercises.

Bootcamp core is the separate section of the Bootcamp category, where your entire focus is on abs.

In a nutshell.

  • The Bootcamp core peloton is a series of classes that combine abdominal workouts with cardio using a treadmill or peloton bike.
  • The class involves a circuit training style workout that stimulates muscle growth, builds endurance, and improves the cardiovascular system.

This class is perfect even for beginners because it helps to work on both strength and cardio without being sore.

Vladimir Manojlović, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Zagreb, says “constant rotation between bikes and weights forces the blood to flow from one muscle to another, which helps to reduce lactate buildup.”

The less lactate build-up in the muscle, the less DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) you feel after a session. In fact, this type of workout is also popular in a number of gyms like orange theory or F45.

What I like

This bootcamp class is good for abs because adding cardio rounds between core exercises allows to continue working out and strengthen the muscle, without causing muscle fatigue. The class duration lasts between 30 to 45 minutes.

What I dislike

I hate that for every core bootcamp class (or any peloton bike bootcamp class) you need to use special cycling shoes.

Of course, you can use peloton toe cages and train with regular tennis shoes. But if you don’t have the toe clips, then you have to keep on taking your shoes on and off for the whole class.

My thoughts

To answer the question is peloton good for your core I would say it is a highly valuable resource that provides everything you need to get your abs pop.

However, keep in mind that when your goal is to get abs, consistency and diet are the most important.

This means you can spend hours doing peloton core classes that target lower abs, but if your diet isn’t optimal, or if you consume more calories than you burn you won’t be able to see results.

Studies have shown that 6-week abdominal exercise training alone wasn’t enough to improve body composition and reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat.

(Of course, the 6-week abs program significantly improved strength and muscle endurance, if that’s what you’re after.)

So doing a Peloton abs workout alone is a great way to build muscle, but it’s not enough to get visible abs.

For your abs to pop, you need to implement a calorie deficit and high protein diet, together with consistency.

Conclusion

  • The peloton is good for abs because it has hundreds of core-specific workouts that target abdominals muscles, glutes, and lower back.
  • Cycling requires you to keep the core muscles engaged throughout the ride to maintain the integrity between the pelvis and lumbar spine (this is also important)
  • Plus, it has several full-body workouts that also include standing core workouts and crunches, and planks.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

One thought on “Best Peloton Classes For Washboard Abs (Full list)

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