Build a stronger core with these 5 short but challenging abdominal workouts


Building a strong core

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Your core is your body’s powerhouse. Engaging your abs is often an essential component of finding and maintaining perfect form while exercising, and a strong core is helpful in creating good posture. There are so many different exercise styles now that you’re sure to find an abs workout that doesn’t feel like a total chore. If you’re looking to step up your fitness game and build core strength with fun, unique workout routines, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these picks and get to work!


1. Free Abs Workout: Washboard by Keoni

From: Radius Fitness

This workout is a gem from the now-defunct Radius Fitness available on YouTube. Hudoba’s 10-minute routine is a great choice for those who enjoy strength training but are looking to go beyond the typical crunch. This workout consists of intense plank variations such as the Frankenstein monster of all ab exercises, the Side Plank Crunch, while moves like Runners Sit Ups and Windmills will fire up your abs and get you nice and sweaty. The exercises change up quickly enough so that you won’t get bored, but every single move will put your core strength to the test.


2. 10-Minute Standing Abs

From: Jessica Smith TV

Does the thought of hitting the mat for crunches and planks make you squirm? Try Jessica Smith’s genius standing abs routine. This is one-stop shopping, with energetic exercises like Single Leg Running and targeted toning moves like the Prayer Pose Squat and Extended Side Leg Crunch coming together for a 10-minute sweat session that will strengthen your core sans mat. The secret to making these exercises truly effective is engaging the abs and following the body position cues given by Smith at the beginning of the video and throughout the routine. Smith categorizes this workout as intermediate, so some fitness experience is required.


3. Yoga Core and Twists Abs Workout

From: BeFit

Yoga lovers, flow your way to a strong core with this sequence by BeFit trainer Laurel Erilane. Having a good understanding of the vinyasa style and basic yoga postures is really important here, as this is a fast-paced workout. Erilane does offer a few modifications for those whose core muscles aren’t quite ready for some of the more challenging poses such as the Side Plank and Boat Pose. Test your balance with sequences such as the Crescent Lunge to Warrior III, then relax at the end of all your hard work with a cooldown consisting of a detoxifying universal twist and everyone’s favorite yoga pose, savasana.


4. Get Kayla Itsines Abs in 7 Minutes

Kathleen Kamphausen for Cosmopolitan 

From: Cosmopolitan

Kayla Itsines has become the internet’s trainer to watch, and this workout, presented in high-quality GIFs, gives some insight into why she has such loyal fans. This routine may be short on time, but, as is the case with HIIT workouts, what you lack in time you make up for with intensity. Itsines utilizes the AMRAP, or As Many Rounds as Possible, format, so you’ll perform circuits consisting of 15 reps of 7 exercises for 7 minutes. You think Tuck Jumps are hard? Try ending a circuit of no-nonsense moves with them and then starting your new circuit with Bent-leg Jackknifes, which are essentially full-body crunches, using dumbbells. Obviously, beginners should look elsewhere; this is a workout for those with a solid fitness foundation who want an advanced, challenging routine. You can modify this workout to be slightly less difficult by omitting the weights, and don’t forget to practice proper form and control throughout the movements.


5. Pilates Ab Toning Workout

Daily Burn 

From: Daily Burn

Pilates is a great alternative to traditional strength training, particularly when it comes to abs. Trainer Andrea Speir has designed a routine for Daily Burn that is as unique as it is challenging, with exercises that rely on precise, controlled movements to work your midsection. Moves such as the Wind Down may seem easy until you try it and see how the slight coordination challenge created by circling your fists around each other forces you to pay attention to how you engage your abs. Meanwhile, moves like Footwork and Tabletop Control work by having you maintain a stable upper body while your lower body moves. Classic ab-burning Crunches and intense Side Plank Bends round out this next-level ab routine. Speir credits Pilates for her incredibly strong core, and by the end of this workout, you’ll understand why.

Try these videos and create a stronger, healthier core! Be sure to check with your medical professional before getting started and take your body’s needs and fitness level into consideration when choosing an exercise routine.