Get your ab muscles in shape even with a busy schedule!
We know life can get really hectic, making it hard to squeeze in your ab training. However, even if you’re busy, there’s no excuse to skip your ab workout with these quick and easy exercise that require no equipment and can be done in just 5 to 10 minutes a day.
Aside from looking great with washboard abs, having a strong midsection has a lot of benefits. Core workouts improve your posture and balance and even help you avoid injuries.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of quick ab workouts perfect for a busy day. Check it out to learn more!
5 Quick Ab Workouts for Anyone On-the-go
1. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are great, because they exercise several muscle groups all at once. This ab-tightening move keeps your core muscles engaged while working your buttocks, hips and legs. It’s also a good workout to help increase your flexibility. If you try this, you’ll notice mountain climbers look like running in place while in a plank position.
How to do mountain climbers:
- Begin with the traditional push-up position with your hands on the floor.
- Move your right knee upward to the center of your stomach.
- Switch legs, bringing the left knee upward while moving the right leg back.
- Do this move quickly for up to 30 seconds. Rest for no more than 1 minute, then repeat. You can complete 4 reps in 6 minutes.
2. Plank Exercises
Doing the plank and variations of this exercise is one of the best workouts you can do for your core. It engages all the muscles of your midsection, including your rectus abdominis – the muscles that appear when you have ripped six-pack abs. Plus, you’ll get an upper-body workout too!
How to do planks:
- To do a full plank, place your hands on the floor like you’re about to do push-ups.
- Keep your legs together with your toes planted on the floor.
- Straighten your arms and back and avoid bending your hips. Your head must be in line with your back.
- Remember to tighten your buttocks and abs to engage your muscles.
- Hold this position for up to 60 seconds while maintaining a straight posture. The workout intensifies as you do plank variations.
- To switch to an elbow plank, place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders. Again, maintain a straight back and avoid bending your hips.
- Hold the elbow plank for 30 seconds.
- To switch to a raised leg plank, keep your elbows on the floor. Lift one leg up as far as you’re comfortable without straining your back.
- Hold the raised leg plank for 30 seconds. Alternate the position with your other leg and hold it for another 30 seconds.
- To do the side plank, begin by lying on the floor on one side of your body. Keep your feet together and your legs extended.
- Using your lower elbow and forearm, prop your body up. Keep your elbow straight.
- While propped on your side, straighten your legs and place one foot forward to help keep your balance.
- You can raise your other arm and place it on the back of your head for a more intense workout. Again, tighten your ab muscles and avoid bending your hips.
- Hold the side plank for 30 seconds. Alternate the position with your other leg and hold it for another 30 seconds.
- Do one more full plank. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Conclude your exercise with a 1 minute elbow plank.
Now you’ve done the 5-minute plank workout!
Modified Plank Exercise for Beginners
If you’re doing planks for the first time, you may want to start off with this modified plank exercise on your knees, instead of your toes. This is easier to hold than the traditional plank, and it helps you balance and concentrate on your form.
Sources: GetHealthYu.com and Fitwirr.com
How to do modified knee planks:
- To do a straight arm plank with your knees, start by kneeling on to the floor with your feet together.
- Place your hands on the ground like you’re about to do push-ups.
- Straighten your arms and back and avoid bending your hips.
- Tighten your buttocks and your stomach to engage your muscles.
- Hold this position for up to 60 seconds while maintaining a straight posture. You can do plank variations like the elbow and side plank using your knees.
- To switch to an elbow plank, place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders.
- Hold the elbow plank for 30 seconds.
- To do a side plank with one knee, begin by sitting on the floor.
- Lie on one side and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
- Using your lower elbow and forearm, prop your body up to one side. Keep your elbow straight.
- Place your other hand on your hip. Again, straighten your back and tighten your ab muscles.
- Hold the side plank for 30 seconds. Alternate the position with your other knee and hold it for another 30 seconds.
- Do one more straight arm plank. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- End your exercise with a 1 minute elbow plank with your knees.
Now you’ve done the modified plank workout!
Just remember: when you’re starting, it’s okay if you can’t hold a plank for 30 seconds to a minute. It’s normal when you’re a beginner. Doing planks can be hard at first, but the more you do them; the longer you’ll be able to hold them.
For beginners, break each plank position into 10-second intervals with a short rest in between. Over time, you can extend the intervals up to 15 seconds or more when you can hold plank positions longer.
3. Bicycle Crunches
The bicycle crunch is a classic ab exercise that targets your ab muscles and flanks. It’s one of the best workouts for your core.
How to do bicycle crunches:
- Lay flat on the floor with your hands under your head.
- Raise your knees up to a 45-degree angle and do a slow bicycle pedal motion.
- Your right elbow should touch your opposite knee, alternating the movement with your left elbow touching your right knee.
- You can do 25 repetitions for a 3-5 minute workout, depending on how fast you pedal.
4. Reverse Crunches
Fire-up your abs with reverse crunches! This simple, yet efficient, workout strengthens your core and improves your lower back stability. It also engages the lower layers of your abdominal muscle, giving you a more defined midsection.
How to do reverse crunches:
- Lie on your back with palms down on the floor.
- Keep your legs straight while pointing your toes.
- Push your palms on the floor while slowly raising your legs.
- Once you reach a full raise, make sure to lift your hips off the floor.
- Lower your hips back onto the floor. Keep lowering your legs slowly to complete one reverse crunch.
- Repeat this movement. You can do 15-20 reps for a 3 minute workout.
5. V-ups Ab Exercise
V-ups are a great total core exercise that tightens your abs and strengthens your back muscles. It’s a strength-based workout that uses your body weight to activate your upper and lower ab muscles. Just remember to fully engage your core muscles to maximize its benefits.
How to do V-ups:
- Lie on your back with your hands extended over your head.
- Keep your legs straight, your feet together and your toes pointed.
- Lift your legs up toward your chest forming a V position as you stretch your arms and lift your upper body off the floor.
- Try to reach for your toes when you stretch your arms.
- Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat this movement as many times as you can.
- Try to complete 20-25 reps of v-ups within 3-5 minutes.
You can try all 5 exercises (allot 2 minutes each) for a 10 minute ab training routine. However, if you’re not used to working your abs, some of these exercises may be hard at first. Just keep doing them. I promise; it gets easier. You got this!