Abs are foundational to your strength. They play a big role in your posture and are part of the anchor for a lot of your movements.
This is a short and nasty ab workout that can work for all levels of fitness. The key is to still with it and push yourself because… it’s only 5 minutes long – Keep telling yourself that along the way!
Having an analog clock in sight makes this easy, but a stopwatch or stopwatch app on your phone can work equally well.
30 seconds per exercise, moving immediately into the next exercise each time. Then 1 minute for each plank at the end.
- Crunches (0:30)
- Upper abs
- Really flex those top 2 abs as you try to pull your shoulders to your hips, like you’re trying to break them. Don’t pull on your neck.
- Leg Up Situps (0:30)
- Mid & upper abs
- Feet in the air (90 degrees), try to keep them straight. Use your hands to help you walk up your legs and try to touch the soles of your feet. This starts by hitting your upper abs, then really pushes the mid-abs as you try to reach for those feet
- Bicycles (0:30)
- Upper, Mid & Obliques
- With your shoulders and feet lifted 6 inches off the ground, legs straight, hands behind your head – bring one knee up and the opposite side elbow in to almost touch over your belly button. Continue, alternating sides as you go.
- Flutter Kicks (0:30)
- Lower Abs
- Place your hands flat under your butt, lift your shoulders and feet 6 inches off the ground. Keeping your legs straight, alternate lifting one to a 45 degree angle while the other one stays at 6 inches.
- Plank (1:00)
- Full Core
- Get in pushup position, except on your forearms instead of your hands. Keep your back as straight as possible. Don’t let your hips sag or “camel” up.
- Side Plank (1:00 each side)
- From plank position, rotate to one side so that you are balancing on one forearm and the side of one foot. Again, try to make sure you have a straight line from your shoulder to your ankle.
- Cat Vomit *Bonus* (1:00)
- Transverse Abdominus
- I know this sounds weird, but this exercise completes a truly full abdominal workout. The rest of the exercises focus primarily on the Rectus Abdominis muscles or “6-pack” muscles. The transverse abdominus is beneath all of that and runs transverse or sideways to the other abdominal muscles. So while your rectus abdominis works by bringing your hips and shoulders forward towards each other, the transverse brings your stomach in. When you suck in your gut – this is the muscle you are using to do that. And when you exercise this muscle, it will suck in your gut for you! No kidding.
- Get down on all fours. Take a deep breath in and let your back sag and your stomach / diaphragm expand as you do so. Now, quickly blow out all your air as you arch your back and suck in your stomach. Hold your breath and this position for a couple of seconds then start all over.