In recent years, ab work has gotten a glow-up that goes way beyond crunches. Planks now come in hundreds of varieties, a "coregasm" is a thing, and we're adding new moves to our playbook every single day. On this week's episode of Well+Good’s Trainer of the Month Club, New York City Barry’s instructor Sashah Handal is blending oldie-but-goldie exercises with the new kids on the block (around-the-world deadbugs, who?) for the ultimate HIIT ab workout you can do in—wait for it—just 15 minutes.
"We'll do each move for about 60 seconds and we'll switch off from supinated to pronated, or from on your back to on your palms," says Handal at the kick off the video. The switching up of positions will ensure that your wrists don't feel the pain of a thousand planks, and will keep your body guessing all the way to the finish line. Grab your mat and you're ready to go.
- Sashah Handal, Barry’s Bootcamp instructor certified in personal training, HIIT, indoor cycling, and TRX
Try this 15-minute HIIT ab workout for
1. Double Crunch: Go ahead and lie down on the ground. Engage your core and bend both your knees and your elbows. Crunch them together, then re-extend your body without letting your arms or legs touch the ground. Keep it going for a full minute.
2. Plank to Pike: Flip onto your stomach and come into plank position: shoulders stacked above your wrists, core engaged, and inner-thighs squeezing in toward one another. On an exhale, push your hips back to come into a downward-facing dog as you tap your right hand to your left foot. Return to plank and continue to switch sides for 60 seconds. "Your hips go up, but what keeps them up is the contraction in the lower abdominals," says Handal. "And when you reach for that opposite toe, you can reach a little farther if you start to tap into those obliques."
3. Around the World Deadbug: Get back on your back! Come into a hollow rock hold with your arms pointing straight up alongside your ears and your legs extended out as well. Tuck your left leg in, bring your right leg to meet it, crunch your left elbow into your left leg, crunch your right elbow into your right leg. Exit the way you came in (one limb at a time) until you return to your hollow hold. Keep repeating this same slow movement pattern for 60 seconds.
4. Around the World Extended Plank: Get back into plank position. Walk your left hand about half a foot forward, bring your right hand to meet it. Walk your left foot to the left edge of your mat; walk your right foot to the right edge of your mat. Return to plank pose the way you came in and keep going for a minute.
5. Alternating V Sit-Ups: Lie down on your back and come back into that hollow hold position. Bring your hands to prayer at your heart. Use your abs to sit up into a V-shape, balancing on your sitz-bones. Twist your torso to the right, tapping your left elbow to your right knee. Come to center and lower back down. Repeat the same movement on the left side and continue to alternate for the remainder of the 60 seconds.
6. High Plank Knee Tap: Move back into good old plank. Engage your abs and touch your right knee to your right elbow, then touch your right knee to your left elbow. Return to plank and touch your left knee to your left elbow, then your left knee to your right elbow. Keep alternating for (you know it by now) 60 seconds.
7. Corkscrew Leg Lifts: Lie down on your back and press your palms firmly into the ground to help your lower back stay glued to the mat. With your legs either straight or slightly-bent, go ahead and lift your feet off the floor. Bring them to hover just above your hips, then use your abs to twist your feet up to the ceiling so that your hips lift up and your toes point to the left. Return your hips to the ground, lower your feet to hover, then repeat the same corkscrew motion on the opposite side. There's one minute on the clock.
8. Plank Hop: For the ultimate move, go ahead and come to plank pose with your inner-legs glued together. Fire up your core and hop your feet out to the right without letting them jump apart. Hop them back to center then to the left. Keep it going for 60 seconds.
9. Bicycle: Here's your core burnout. Sit onto your butt and bring your hands right onto your temples. Extend your legs out straight. As you tuck your right knee into your chest, match it with your left elbow. Return to center and quickly switch sides. Handal recommends following up four quick reps with four slower, more controlled reps to really hit every muscle in that core.
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