10 minute ab shredding workout. But, unfortunately you will not get shredded abs after 10 minutes. It is extremely important to work your core muscles as they help stabilize for ALL compound movements, but they are much harder to achieve than 50 crunches. Getting a 6 pack means having a very low body fat percentage to show them off. This body fat is not usually a sustainable place to be for an extended period of time because it messes with your hormones and metabolism. The best way to get the flat stomach with some definition is being in a caloric deficit and decreasing overall body fat. That is when you will start to see a few lines here and there, but otherwise it is not actually possible to spot treat and get a 6 pack. So if you know someone that thinks their stomach will shrink from doing 50 sit ups a day, and eat pizza…please kindly tell that that is incorrect.
What a core workout will do for you is strengthen those deep abdominal muscles that help with posture, standing, sitting bending and twisting! We use our core for everything, even laughing! So, although doing a million sit ups probably won’t give you a 6 pack unless your nutrition is dialed in, it will give you a very sturdy base!
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Form: Using one dumbbell (or both) with your legs straight in the air and your arms towards the ceiling, reach up with your dumbbell(s) towards your toe! This is basically a modified crunch, press your low back to the floor and you lift up and reach for your toes (squeeeeze) and then return back down.
Modifications: If this is too hard with a dumbbell you can just use your hands and reach for your toes!
Form: Sitting on your butt, leaning back with your feet off the ground, you are going to twists from side to side while holding a dumbbell. During this you want your core tight and back flat, so don’t round that back to try and keep yourself upright, you need to keep your chest up. When rotating from side to side, you want your head to follow your hands to keep a neutral spine.
Modifications: Easier version: keep your feet on the ground and don’t lean back so far and perform without the weight. Harder version: keep your feet off the ground and lean back. The further you lean back the harder it is going to be.
Form: Start out in a high plank, or pushup, position. Using one dumbbell you are going to reach across your body to crab it and replace in on the same side as the hand that grabbed for it (place outside of your hand). Then use the other hand to reach across, grab the dumbbell and replace on the same side. Therefore, grab the dumbbell FROM the left, WITH the right hand and replace it outside the right hand placement. Try not to move your hips form side to side, as always core is engaged and back stays flat. LEAVE THAT BUTT DOWN!
Modifications: To make it easier you can perform from your knees! To make it a little harder you can use a heavier dumbbell.
Form: This movement is performed standing up! One dumbbell in each hand (VERY LIGHT) and arms up with shoulders and elbows at 90, like a scarecrow. Pick one knee up and reach for it with the opposite dumbbell. You want to keep that bend in the elbow and just rotate it across your body! Keep your core tight, if it pulls too much in the shoulders either decrease your weight or just omit the dumbbells all together. Be very careful here as to not go too heavy or you could damage your rotator cuff and NO ONE wants a shoulder surgery!
Modifications: Again, get rid of the dumbbells if it is too hard. If it is too easy, increase your reps and really focus on your core and balance!
Form: Lying flat on your back with a dumbbell between your feet (feet towards the ceiling). Engage your core, aka press the low back to the floor, and lower your legs as far as you can until your back starts to lift and then return back to straight. Until you start to work your core more and have more strength, your low back lifting is going to shift the engagement from your core, to your hip flexors and that is NOT what we want! So make sure you are paying attention. Yes, I realize it is not “full” range of motion but if you do not do it correctly then it is still not helping you.
Modifications: Do not use a dumbbell it if is too hard for you, you can also just do one leg at a time if that is also easier for you. To make it harder you can slowly increase that range of motion but make sure emphasis is still on the core and not the hip flexors!
Form: This one is very tricky! Get into a side plank position with a dumbbell in the top hand. You are going to reach under with the dumbbell and then open up and reach towards the ceiling! Be sure not to move your hips or torso and just keep your core tight!
Modifications: Drop down to the side of your knee for an easier version, and even get rid of the weight and perform without it!
Warmup and cool downs do not need to be 15 minute extensive routines unless you are doing a very taxing and demanding workout. Just simply getting your heart rate up and warmup up the body is all you need to do!
50 jumping jacks
10 air squats
20 Mountain climbers
Cool down: (holding each for :30-:45 seconds)
I hope this gave you a few new ideas for core exercises! It is important to ALWAYS think about form here so you are properly engaging your core. “press the low back to the floor” is the motion you always want to do, not sucking in or pulling your belly button to your spine!