If you’ll indulge me in a car simile, abs are kind of like the engine of the body. Without them, the simplest functional movement patterns (like sitting down and standing up) just aren’t possible. The good news? Your abdominal muscles don’t need an hour of training every day. On this week’s edition of Well+Good’s Trainer of the Month Club Ash Wilking—Nike master trainer and Rumble instructor—proves that you only need 10 minutes to squeeze in a quick core workout that makes you feel strong in every movement you do.
“Ten moves, 10 minutes, 10 reps each—I’m going to show you bodyweight, but if you want an extra challenge, make sure you add a med ball,” says Wilking, before kicking off a workout that left me 10 inches deep in sweat. Along with classic core moves (looking at you, side plank twists and dead bugs), you might just make the acquaintance of a new move (or two) that you can work into any exercise regimen you’ve got going during quarantine.
Looking for a quick core workout? This one requires just 10 minutes
1. Dead bugs: Start lying on your back. Bend your knees so that they’re directly above your hips and your calves stretch out at a 90-degree angle. Extend your arms straight up to the sky and ball your fists. Without letting your lower back lift off the ground, lower your right foot to hover just above the ground. At the same time, lower you left arm to hover just above the ground behind your head. Come back to center and switch sides. Repeat the movement for 60 seconds.
2. Reverse crunch: Still lying on your back tuck your hands under your glutes, extend your legs straight up to the sky. Use your abs to corkscrew your legs up so that your right toes face the left side of the room. Lower to the ground with control. Repeat the movement on the opposite side. Alternate for 60 seconds.
3. Side plank twist: Come to a kneeling position and extend your feet straight back into plank. Then, come onto the edge of your left foot. Stack your right foot on top of the left and release your right arm straight up to the sky. Lower your bottom knee to the ground, if necessary. Curl your right arm under your left abdomen, working your obliques. Re-extend it to the sky and repeat for 60 seconds.
4. Half-kneeling twist: Come back to kneeling and bring your left foot forward so that you’re in a low lunge with your right knee still planted down on the ground. Make fists and reach up and cross the left side of your body. Bring your fists to your chest and reach down. “What I want you to think about here is adding a twist, but not letting your fists move,” says Wilking. Repeat for 60 seconds.
Repeat moves three and four on the right side.
5. Single leg toe touch: Come to lie down and extend your arms straight up overhead. Engage your core and reach up with both hands as you bring your left foot to meet your fingers. Lower your upper body and lower body back down to the ground. Repeat the same movement, reaching for the right foot this time. You got this! Sixty seconds!
6. X oblique twist: Lift your upper body with your feet still resting on the floor and your knees bent. Extend your arms straight up, then slice them down to the right, twisting your obliques. Bring your arms straight up and do the same on the left side. You’ve got one minute here.
7. Plank saw: Lie down on your stomach and come into forearm plank: shoulder over elbows, fingertips pointing straight forward, and hips tucked under. Slowly, use your abs to ease your body forward so that your shoulders creep over your elbows. Then, just as slowly, push your body backward without letting your hips move. Complete 60 seconds of this movement.
8. Hollow hold to cannonball: Lie back down on the floor and extend your legs so that they’re about a foot off the ground. Lift your arms off the ground as well, gluing your low back in place. Use your abs to curl into a tiny ball, then re-extend your body to the starting position. This is your home stretch 60 seconds.
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