Who doesn't want sleek, six-pack abs they can show off during bathing suit season? But sculpting the perfect midsection isn't just about your abs; it's about your entire core. This comprehensive core workout addresses all four major muscle groups of your torso. This moderate-intensity workout can be adjusted to fit your current fitness level by performing the repetitions faster or slower during each set. Perform each move for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds, but don't add any additional rest in between the sets. You can repeat this workout as many times as you'd like with good form or combine it with any of our other 10-minute workouts, including one for glutes, legs, arms and back.
1. Weighted Crunch
In order to truly improve the strength of your core muscles, it's important to incorporate this kind of resistance move. The abdominal muscles are particularly dependent on your mind. For this move, be sure to move deliberately, focusing on the quality of contraction for each rep. Raise and lower your torso only using your abs -- not your neck.
2. Bird Dog
During this exercise, brace your core strongly as if preparing to be punched in the stomach. This kind of contraction emphasizes proper function of the torso and is particularly important for this move. You'll begin on all fours and raise and lower the opposite arm and leg for each rep, using your core to stabilize you.
3. Side Plank
To optimize the benefits of this move, ensure that your body is in perfect alignment from shoulders to hips to ankles and that your hips are stacked on top of each other. This is a great move for runners and anyone else looking to improve lateral stability. You can start out in a regular plank and then roll onto one side or start lying on your side and raise yourself up. Do a right-side plank on the first round and a left-side plank on the second round.
4. Bicycle Crunches
Again, before you begin your reps, brace your core strongly as if preparing to be punched in the stomach. This will cause the front of your body to hollow out into a contracted position. Hold this contracted position as you execute this move. Lie on your back and bring your opposite elbow to your opposite knee with each rep. Aim to twist from your torso and shoulders without reaching with your elbows.
5. Boat Pose
This static exercise is harder than it looks. You'll start seated then lean back into a V-shape position, with your arms out in front of you for balance. Make sure to keep your neck in alignment and take short, regular breaths. Draw inward through your torso and brace your abs as if preparing to be punched in the stomach.
Start again with weighted crunches and repeat all five moves in order, doing the move for 45 seconds and resting for 15 seconds before moving on to the next one.
What Do YOU Think?
What are your favorite ab-sculpting moves? Which of these do you incorporate into your regular workout? Have you given this workout a try? What did you think? Have you tried any of our other 10-minute workouts? What did you think of those? What's your favorite way of combining them? Share your thoughts, suggestions and experiences in the comments section below!
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