This isn't a joke, and yes, you can easily do a great ab workout in less than 10 minutes. Heck, the other morning after training one of my favourite clients, I stopped by a convenience store in downtown Toronto to inspect the latest fitness magazine headlines. The cover of one of the slickest, most popular female fitness publications immediately jumped out at me with the headline, "One Minute Abs".
Now before you laugh, I just want to let you know that I could put you through 60 seconds of stretching and strengthening that would leave your abs sore for days. So even though it sounds preposterous, and clearly the headline was there for shock value, I promise you that working your abs in minutes (or less!) is no laughing matter.
Today's 10 Minute Ab Workout
If you want to get a slim stomach and six pack abs in just minutes or even seconds, then you need to stop wasting your time on useless crunches and dangerous sit-ups. Instead, you need to focus on 21st Century ab workout exercises to get more results in less time.
Here's an effective four-exercise Pre-Fatigue Abdominal Circuit where you are going to fatigue the abdominals with classic endurance exercises and then follow it up with a dynamic moving exercise.
In the first exercise, start with a simple abdominal plank, holding that position for 45 seconds while bracing your abs, breathing normally, and maintaining your body in a straight line. That will pre-fatigue your abdominals for the second exercise.
Next, you will perform stability ball jackknives for 15 repetitions. At this point in the workout, your abs will be slightly fatigued from the previous exercise, so pay special attention to your form. This is the perfect combination of abdominal exercises to help you strengthen your abs and build the six pack muscles.
Sculpt Your Abs with Science
Research shows that abdominal exercises like the plank and side plank are essential for helping you build abdominal endurance and reduce your risk of low back pain. And my experience shows we can use these simple exercises combined with fun stability ball exercises to work your abs harder than ever.
The third abdominal exercise in the circuit will fatigue both the obliques and abdominals and is called the side plank. While holding for 30 seconds per side, be sure to maintain your body in a straight line, keeping your hips up, and your chest rotated outwards.
Brace your abs to work them harder than ever. This simple exercise is far more effective than crunches, and works your abdominal oblique muscles extra hard. Plus, the side plank pre-fatigues your abdominal oblique muscles for the final exercise.
The last abs workout exercise in the circuit is the cross body stability ball mountain climber. To get into position, place your hands on the floor, your feet on the ball, and bring your knee across your body to your opposite elbow. This is a powerful exercise for your six pack abs and obliques.
Once completing the Pre-Fatigue Abdominal Circuit, go through and complete it 2 more times for a total of 3 circuits. You'll be shocked at how hard you can work your abs without situps, crunches, or any of the ab gadgets that are really just a waste of money.
Don't Forget to Get Rid of the Belly Fat
Of course, you also have to do interval training to burn belly fat and find the right diet to help you lose belly fat. I highly recommend you stick to whole, natural foods to lose stomach fat and use short, burst interval training to burn fat in less than 20 minutes, only three times per week.
After finishing the abs exercises circuit, do 5 minutes of fat burning Bodyweight squats, completing as many reps as you can do within that time frame. So, for example, you may choose to do sets of 10, 20, go to failure, or 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
It doesn't really matter, as long as you are focused on form and going at a steady pace. In terms of hand placement, you can put them down at your sides, behind your head, outstretched in front of you, or even below your neck. Record how many reps you are able to do within the 5 minute window and try to improve upon that number each week.
Save Money and Time and Sculpt Your Abs at Home in Minutes
All you need is your bodyweight and a $9.95 exercise ball to work your abs as hard as any pilates or yoga session, or as hard as any $39.95 infomercial machine – all in the comfort of your own home.
I hope you enjoyed the abs exercises circuit workout and bodyweight interval training program. Both of these workouts will guarantee that you'll get a slim tummy, flattened abs, and even a razor sharp set of six pack abdominals.
Train short and sweet,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS