A 10-Minute Core Workout to Strengthen and Tighten Your Abs
by Lindsay Tigar
Sometimes you have time for a lengthy visit to the gym, and sometimes you need something quick and effective. That's where the 10-minute core workout comes in! With some quick-hit abdominal exercises, you can not only engage your middle section but also drum up a sweat to help your heart, physique, and overall strength.
Whether you need a workout before you head into the office or right before bed, adding this set of core exercises to your routine can help you make significant strides toward your fitness goals — even with limited time.
Before starting your 10-minute core workout, your body needs to warm up to prepare for a challenge. To get your muscles ready, spend a couple minutes performing simple movements like the windmill and standing torso rotations.
Once your muscles are warmed up and your blood is pumping, try practicing your go-to stretches — whether you do so by standing up, sitting or lying on the floor. Afterward, you'll be ready to jump into the workout!
The 10-Minute Core Workout
There are plenty of ways to go about this abdominal routine — with or without weights. You can perform the exercises as a circuit or as individual moves with multiple sets. No matter what you choose, take into consideration your fitness level, how you're feeling today, and what your goals are. To ensure that you're getting the most out of your efforts, we recommend the following two options that'll help you get started ASAP.
The Four-Exercise Circuit
This 10-minute core workout flows through four movements that can be used with or without dumbbells for added resistance. Using a variety of positions, you'll activate each and every part of your midsection. You should work through this routine as many times as possible during your allotted time.
- Side plank dip on the left for 10 reps
- Side plank dip on the right for 10 reps
- Russian twists for 20 reps
- Flutter kicks for 30 reps
While the plank dips and Russian twists work the muscles around your waist and upper abs, flutter kicks target your lower tummy, which makes for a complete core routine. If you need to take it down a notch, rest one leg on the floor for the plank dips, keep your feet on the ground for the twists, and place your hands under your lower back during the flutter kicks for more stability. Also, be sure to take a break whenever you need one!
The 30-Second Routine
You don't need any equipment to soar through this 10-minute core workout, but you will need to keep your mind focused. After all, motivation is important for every pursuit in life. The goal here is to perform each exercise for 30 seconds and then repeat. Take a one-minute break in between sets, or whenever you need to catch your breath. You got this!
- Elbow plank
- Side plank right
- Side plank left
- Seated Russian twist
- Flutter kicks
- Pushup to side plank
Planks are some of the most effective ab-focused moves you can do because they require you to engage every muscle in your core. Supermans are a great exercise for targeting those hard-to-reach lower ab muscle groups. If you need modifications for any of these, consider slowing down or asking a trainer to help you. You'll want to remain safe so you can meet even more of your aspirations in the gym and beyond.
Congrats on your workout! Before you run off to your next to-do list item, make sure you give your body the post-fitness stretching it craves. You can do anything that feels great to you, but here are a few to test out:
- Lay down flat on your back and raise your left leg into the air. Slowly bend your leg and cross it over your right side. Your hands should be spread out on either side. This should help to work out any kinks from those side ab moves you just did. Repeat on the right.
- Stand up with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Put your hands on your lower back and gently arch. This should lengthen your stomach and provide a much-needed release of tension.
As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.