Toning belts, ab rockers and sweat-inducing lotions might give your wallet a workout, but they won't do much for your core.
So save your money: The only tool you need to get the strong abs of your dreams is your own body (well, that and some persistence).
In this equipment-free routine with Luke Milton, certified personal trainer and founder of the online HIIT program Training Mate, you'll work your entire core — including your oft-overlooked obliques — in just 10 minutes.
Yep, 10 minutes. But don't think it's going to be easy; keep a towel nearby because you can expect to sweat, Milton says. "We are sweat-friendly at LIVESTRONG.com and we love it."
We also love a quick workout; you don't need to spend hours on exercise when you're sticking to tried-and-true ab-building techniques. As Milton says: "You are going to have a taut, terrific ab section in no time at all!"
Maximize your efforts on the mat by prepping with a core-activating warm-up. A few reps of cat-cow and dead bug will prime your abs for the hard work to come.
You'll perform five exercises for 45 seconds each with a 15-second break between moves for two rounds.
- Bicycle Kick: As you kick each leg, focus on twisting your upper body into your knees with your shoulders off the ground the entire time.
- Plank Series: Keep your elbows directly beneath your shoulders, Milton says. When you have 20 seconds left on the clock, come to a high plank and alternate tapping your shoulders and hips.
- 90-Degree Crunch: Try to maintain a 90-degree bend in your knees for the entire 45 seconds. If you need a modification, place your feet on the ground and crunch all the way up so your elbows meet your knees, he says.
- Side Plank: Plank on one side in the first round and switch sides in the second round.
- V-Sit: Challenge yourself to keep your feet lifted as you fatigue.
After those 10 intense minutes of core action, treat your midsection to a quick cooldown with a few of the best stretches for your abs.
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