10 minute ab workout
We all love working out bigger body parts like our back and legs which is great and essential for building strength and muscle but when it comes to training our abs, it often takes a back seat for most. However, just like any other muscle in the body, the core should not be neglected and will need stimulus if we want them to grow and get stronger.
If you’re aim is to get a six-pack performing compound movements alone will not give you the best results. Including a mini ab workout at the end of your routine or on rest day can make all the difference.
Here’s a 10-minute ab workout you can do at home or in the gym, hitting every angle of the abs with the volume to help you sculpt those abs.
Try to perform each exercise for 60 seconds with no rest if you can. If you’re abs are really burning, then give yourself a quick 10 sec rest and carry on from where you stopped.
1. Ab crunch
- Lie on your back with your heels on the floor and with your hands on your thighs.
- Roll your shoulders off the floor and slide your hands towards your knees.
- Try not to use your neck to pull your shoulders off the floor. Instead, focus on contracting the upper abs and relax those neck muscles.
Extra tip here is to put your tongue on the roof of your mouth to stop the neck from pulling so much and keep your eyes focused on the roof.
- Lie on your back with your feet raised just off the floor.
- Then slowly part your legs as far as comfortable.
- Slowly bring the feet back together to really activate those lower core muscles.
- Should there be any lower back discomfort then try placing your hands or a towel underneath can aid this movement but only if you need it.
3. Oblique crunch
- Moving onto your side now we are going to pull our knees into the fetal position.
- Place one arm on the floor straight out in front of you and the other hand at your temple with the elbows bent and pointing up in the air.
- It’s important to keep that elbow up and not allow it to fall forward.
- From this position imagine drawing a curved line down towards your hip and contract the oblique hard before returning the elbow to the start position. Repeat on the other side.
4. Back Extension
- Rolling onto your front, put your hands up to your temples.
- Taking a deep breath inhale and arch the body off the ground. We are looking for 2 things here the first is to contract the lower back muscles (they are part of the core after all) and second to work the abs in reverse by extending them out.
- Just like any other muscles we must contract and extend to get the most out of them. Once you have contracted, breathe out and return to starting position.
5. Double Crunch
Now that the entire core section is warm it’s time to work it a little harder.
- With your hands by the side of your chest keep your heels off the ground and at the same time bring your knees towards your chest and roll your shoulders off the floor to contract the entire core.
- While doing this, try to get your hands to touch your thighs before extending your legs back out and controlling your body back to the floor. Remember for this to work best keep those heels up.
6. Lazy Biker
We are now going to add in the obliques with the rest of the core too.
- Lie on your back with heels on the ground and your hands at your temple.
- Roll your shoulders off the floor twisting your body, at the same time bring the opposite leg from your arm up off the floor and try to get your elbow and opposite knee to meet.
- Return to the start position and then do the other opposite. To really ramp this up try 30 secs Lazy Biker and 30 secs of bicycles together.
7. Heel touches
Keeping the obliques working here we are going to transition through a few versions of a common exercise.
- Lie on your back with your heels on the ground.
- Adjust your feet so your right hand touches your right heel then touch the left heel with your left hand.
- Try not raise yourself off the floor here.
8. Prone plank
- Facing the mat position yourself into plank position with arms straight but not locked under your body to create a nice line without a curve in the back.
- Tighten your glutes and pull your belly button towards your spine whilst controlling your breathing for best effect on the entire core. Don’t let that back curve and don’t let the hips dip down.
9. Angel Clap
Finally, the angel clap - one members all have a love hate relationship with.
- To start this full core movement, lie on your back and raise your heels from the ground, now put both arms out to the sides and lift your shoulders off the ground.
- This creates a T shape with the body and from here, pull the knees back and sit up further to allow us to clap our hands under our legs and then return to the start position.
- Make sure to put the effort into clapping not just touching your hands together. This is a hard move to master so don’t get discouraged if you can’t do at first. You can put in a bit of practice to master the move.
This ab workout is perfect for those short on time. It’s important to remember when working abs to treat it like any other muscle and perform ab exercises both with and without weight for development. To really see that 6-pack coming through you also need to make sure to get your nutrition right. Nutrition and training go had in hand if you really want to see results.
My top trainer tip for everyone is to try ab vacuums.
To perform this exercise, brace your core and pull it in tight whilst maintaining your breathing. Doing this for 10 secs, 10 times a day is an easy step to increasing posture, core strength and in some cases can help reactivate dormant muscles that keep the stomach in place. Increase the time as you get more comfortable with the movement. If you have any questions, feel free to speak to me on the gym floor at PureGym Stirling or to a personal trainer at your gym.