James Shapiro, NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of Primal Power Fitness, has an ab workout that will have you doing a different range of motions such as side crunches (lateral flexion), rotations (aka twisting motion), and holding planks (anti-rotation). It targets those deep muscles we were talking about, as well as the “superficial” ones like your six-pack. The routine is only 10 minutes long, requires two pieces of equipment, and is good for overall conditioning – and also, James told POPSUGAR, for improving your aesthetics.
When it comes to building abdominal strength, focusing on exercises that stabilize the core and work all of your ab muscles is key. Yes, your six-pack (rectus abdominis) is important, but so are your obliques and deep abs (transverse abdominis). Basically, you can’t just do crunches, got it?
10-Minute 6-Move Ab Workout
Equipment needed: a light to medium dumbbell and a stability ball (or Swiss ball, physio ball, exercise ball – whatever you call it).
Directions: Perform all six exercises with as little rest as possible, then take a one-minute break before repeating the circuit again. You’ll be doing two complete rounds.
- Max contraction crunch: 20 reps
- Reverse crunch to extension: 12 reps
- Dumbbell side plank with reach: 12 reps each side
- Stir the pot: 12 reps in each direction
- Stability ball plank rollout: 12 reps
- Side crunch: 20 reps each side
By the way, it took James slightly over 10 minutes (10 minutes and 30 seconds). Let’s get started!