Crunched for time but still want to squeeze in an ab workout? No problem. This 10x10 workout from Josh Honore, NASM-CPT, coach for Row House, will boost your heart rate and tone your entire midsection in minutes.
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The premise behind this core-crushing workout is to perform 10 reps of each exercise with very little rest between each move. Honore chose exercises that target not only your abdominal muscles but also your glutes and hips (which are definitely still part of your core).
The moves also require balance and stability, so you get the bonus of helping to increase coordination, reduce low back pain and improve your posture. To safely perform these exercises, consider using a yoga mat. You'll also want to warm-up with a few minutes of light cardio, such as jogging in place or high knees.
Try the 10x10 Ab Workout
Move 1: Bird-Dog
- Begin on hands and knees in a quadruped position with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips. Use an exercise mat for extra padding for your knees.
- Engage your core muscles and tighten your glutes to keep your back and pelvis stable.
- Reach your right arm forward and left leg back at the same time to form an extension of the torso. Avoid shifting weight in the hip and shoulder on the stable side.
- Return to starting position, placing your hand and knee on the floor.
- Do 10 reps on one side before switching to extend your left arm and right leg for another 10 reps.
Move 2: Donkey Kick
- Begin on all fours in a quadruped position with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.
- Engage the core muscles to keep your back and pelvis stable.
- Tighten the glutes and lift the right knee off the floor until it's level with the hip. Keep the foot flexed.
- Pause at the top with the glutes squeezed.
- Slowly lower the right knee until it's a few inches from the floor and repeat the lift.
- Perform 10 lifts on the right side before changing to the left side.
- Do 10 repetitions on your left side.
Move 3: Lotus Sit-Up
- Lie on your back with your legs in a butterfly position — soles of your feet should be pressed together and knees wide.
- Place your hands behind your head and look up toward the ceiling.
- Contract your abs and perform a full sit-up.
- Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat.
Move 4: Hollow Hold
- Start lying on your back with legs extended and knees together. Extend your arms overhead.
- Press your lower back into the floor. There should be no room between the floor and your lower back.
- Engage your core, squeeze your inner thighs together and lift your head a few inches off the floor. Arms will extend overhead and behind you and shoulders will be off the floor.
- Keep the knees together and raise the legs a few inches off the floor. Make sure the lower back is in contact with the floor.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds.
Move 5: Body-Weight Good Morning
- Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
- Reach your arms high overhead with your fingertips pointing toward the ceiling.
- Engage your core, keep your back neutral and press your glutes back, hinging at the hips. Your knees will be slightly bent.
- Keep your core and glutes tight as you return to standing.
Move 6: Russian Twist
- Sit down on the floor with knees bent and hold your hands in a fist at the center of the chest.
- Lean back slightly and lift your feet a few inches off the floor. Use your abdominal muscles to hold this position.
- Twist your upper body to the right and hold for a few seconds.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on the left side. That's one rep.
Make sure your core stays engaged and you don't arch your back. If your abdominal muscles aren't strong enough to perform with the correct form, keep your heels on the ground.
Move 7: Dead Bug
- Lie on your back.
- Extend your arms toward the ceiling over your chest and bend your knees to 90 degrees. Lift your feet from the floor. This is the starting position.
- Bring your left arm back by your left ear while you extend the right leg long in front of you. Your leg should hover over the floor so that your heel doesn't touch the floor.
- Return your arm and leg to the starting position and repeat with the right arm and left leg. That's one rep.
Move 8: Glute March
- Lie on your back with legs extended and arms by your sides. Bend your knees, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your arms at your sides but move them a few inches away from your body for stability.
- Engage your core and tighten the glutes as you press your feet into the floor and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- Keep your hamstrings and glutes tight, bend your right knee in toward your chest until your right hip is at 90 degrees.
- Return the right leg to the floor.
- As the right foot touches the floor, bend your left knee into your chest. Keep your hips up in full extension.
- Repeat for 10 marches on each leg.
Move 9: Sculler
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent.
- Lift your feet a few inches off the floor and reach your hands in front of you.
- Engage your core and extend your legs while opening the arms to your sides. Your legs should hover above the ground.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
Move 10: Oblique Plank
- Lie on your right side. Prop yourself up on the right elbow with your legs stretched out and stacked on top of each other.
- Press into your right elbow and feet to lift your hips off the floor into a side plank position.
- Hold here for 10 seconds, then return to starting position.
- Repeat 10 times on this side before changing to the left side.
- Do 10 reps on each side.