10-minute abs workout

Tone your tummy muscles and get a flat stomach with this 10-minute abs workout.

These abdominal exercises from physiotherapist Nick Sinfield strengthen your core muscles, which are the muscles around your trunk.

Before you begin, get limber with a 6-minute warm-up routine. Afterwards, cool down with a 5-minute stretch.

Stomach crunch

Target: abdominal muscles

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your hands on your thighs, across your chest or behind your ears. Slowly curl up towards your knees until your shoulders are about three inches off the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds and lower down slowly. Perform 12 stomach crunches.

Tips:

  • Don't tuck your neck into your chest as you rise.
  • Contract your abs throughout the exercise.
  • Don't yank your head off the floor.

Oblique crunch

Target: oblique muscles

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Roll your knees to one side down to the floor. Place your hands across your chest or behind your ears. Slowly curl up towards your hips until your shoulders are about three inches off the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds and lower down slowly. Perform 12 oblique crunches and repeat on the opposite side.

Tips:

  • Don't tuck your neck into your chest as you rise.
  • Contract your abs throughout the exercise.
  • Don't yank your head off the floor.

Plank

Target: lower back and core muscles

Lie on your front propped up on your forearms and toes. Keep your legs straight and hips raised to create a straight and rigid line from head to toe. Your shoulders should be directly above your elbows. Focus on keeping your abs contracted during the exercise. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 8 to 10 times.

Tips:

  • Don't allow your lower back to sink during the exercise.
  • You should be looking at the floor.
  • For an easier version, perform the plank with your knees on the floor.

Side plank

Target: lower back and core muscles

Lie on your side propped up on an elbow. Your shoulder should be directly above your elbow. Straighten your legs and raise your hips to create a straight and rigid line from head to toe. Keep your neck long and your shoulders down and away from your ears. Keep your abs contracted during the exercise. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 8 to 10 times. Repeat the exercise on the other side.

Tips:

  • Keep your hips forward during the exercise.
  • Don't let your lower back sink.
  • For an easier version, perform the side plank with your knees on the floor.

Stomach crunch with legs raised

Target: lower abdominals

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your hands across your chest. Slowly pull your knees into your chest, keeping them bent at 90 degrees, until your buttocks and tailbone come off the floor. Hold the position for a moment and lower down slowly. Perform 12 crunches.

Tips:

  • Contract your abdominals throughout the exercise.
  • Don't tuck your neck into your chest as you rise.
  • Don't use your hands to pull your neck up.

Page last reviewed: 17/04/2015

Next review due: 17/04/2017

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