The at-home abs workout you can do during a commercial break, from Carrie Underwood’s trainer


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Wouldn’t it be nice to have a quick workout that fires up your abs so effectively that you can complete it between sob seshes during a single This Is Us commercial break? Well, you’re in luck: Carrie Underwood‘s trainer Erin Oprea has just the one, and it’s so simple, you can do it right in the comfort of your own living room.

Dubbed the Ottoman Ab Series—because you literally do it on your ottoman!—it just requires 30 to 45 seconds each of three exercises: the one-sided bicycle crunch, leg lifts with hip raises, and a crunch variation. According to Oprea, all you need to do is go through the moves three times, which should total at about seven minutes.

Want to try the series for yourself? Watch the video of Oprea performing the exercises below, then do it twice a week for the best results (ideally during prime-time TV).

Here’s the rundown for the three-move, at-home ab workout.

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1. One-sided bicycle crunch

To kick off the series, start with a one-sided bicycle crunch to strengthen your core—particularly the notoriously hard-to-tone obliques.

“Lie on your back and extend both legs, keeping them elevated slightly,” Oprea told Self. “Take your hands behind your head and bring one knee in and out. Do 30 seconds on one leg, then 30 seconds on the other, then bicycle [alternating sides] for 30 more.”

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2. Leg lifts with hip raises

This is where your ottoman really comes in handy. Hold onto the back of it, helping you put more power behind the exercise, which targets your lower abs and pelvic area. Just make sure you use proper form: “When you pull your legs up, you really focus on pulling your belly button into your spine and reaching straight up to the ceiling,” Oprea said. And as for lowering your legs, don’t arch your back. “It’s all about control. This should be a slow, tight motion.”

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3. Crunch variation

Ready for the final burn? The last move involves a crunch variation where you bring your knees into your chest every time you crunch up, then straighten them when you bring your shoulders down.

“If you feel this move in your lower back, modify by keeping a slight bend in the knees as you extend your legs,” Oprea said. “Eventually, you’ll get strong enough to extend all the way out.”

This is the buzzy workout Emmy Rossum does during her downtime. Or, check out what boxing champ Laila Ali eats to power through her intense, hour-long workouts.

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