If you want to run away whenever you get to the abs portion of your workouts, you’re not the only one. Core exercises can be pretty daunting—especially when there’s a seemingly never-ending list of bicycle crunches and sit-ups to check off. But it’s important—and no, not just for washboard abs. Upping your core strength can help with everything from lower back pain to bad posture, and you really only need to devote 10 minutes a day.
Kajuan Douglas, founder of Merge New York, created a routine for the studio’s Integration class as a way to build up core strength in minimal time. And instead of doing hundreds of crunches, he uses a mix of yoga and Pilates moves to tighten and tone.
“It’s not always about how long you do something, but the quality of time you spend doing it. The key to its success is precision.” —Kajuan Douglas, founder of Merge New York
“I personally practiced this workout for about 10 minutes a day and it’s made me stronger, removed my distended belly—my wine pouch!—and stopped some minor lower back pain,” he says. “After 90 days in a row, it completely changed my body. It’s not always about how long you do something, but the quality of time you spend doing it. The key to its success is precision.”
Even if you start slow, you can feel the positive effects. “I worked up to continuously doing these exercises without a break,” Douglas says. So what are you waiting for?
Integration abs routine
Note from Kajuan: To start this practice, I’d recommend taking short breaks for 3 to 5 breaths when needed. The goal of performing these exercises without interruption gives us strength and endurance, which is key to working up to being at our optimal physical and mental/emotional health.
1. Single leg toe taps (16 each leg, alternating sides)
2. Double leg toe taps (16x)
3. Single leg extensions (16 each leg, alternating sides)
4. Double leg extensions (16x)
5. Half boat pose (15 breath)
6. Rolling like a ball (10x)
7. Boat pose (10 breath)
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