The Best 10-Minute Beginner Workout for Stronger Abs

No matter if you’re involved in other athletics or find yourself sitting behind a desk the majority of the day, we all can benefit from a strong core. Powerful ab muscles can help you achieve perfect posture and assist in alleviating back pain (and that’s not to mention how great your midsection looks when it’s toned). While it’s true that a six-pack can only be revealed through proper diet, building your abdominal muscles can start today with this beginner workout. Give it a shot — it only takes 10 minutes.

Try each exercise for 30 seconds and take 30 seconds rest before moving on. As you get stronger, continue the exercise for longer durations and take shorter rest breaks.

1. Deadbug

Muscles it works: Lower abs, upper abs, back

How to: Begin by lying on your back, making sure your lower back is pulled down so it’s touching the floor at all times. Keep your knees bent at 90-degree angles over your hips (also at 90 degrees), and raise both arms up toward the ceiling. Then, lower one leg and the opposite arm down toward the floor. The leg should extend out in front of you and the arm should extend past your head by your ear. Slowly bring them back in and repeat with the other arm and leg.

Keep this movement as slow as possible to feel the burn — and you can also make it more difficult by not allowing your legs to touch the ground at any point.

2. Mountain climbers — fast or slow

Woman Doing Mountain Climber Exercise

Mountain climber exercise | Aleksander Kaczmarek/iStock.com

Muscles it works: Shoulders, lats, legs, hips, lower abs

How to: Get into proper push-up position with shoulders over hands and no rounding through the back. Then, alternate pulling one knee in toward your chest at a time, holding that strong push-up position. The faster you go with this, the more of a challenge it will be, so start slow.

3. Hollow body hold

Muscles it works: Back, lower abs, upper abs

How to: Lie on your back, keeping your lower back pressed into the ground during this entire movement. Extend your arms and legs out toward your center and hold the position for the full 30 seconds.

This move can certainly prove challenging, so you can make it easier by floating your legs higher off the ground or keeping your arms by your side instead of extended next to your ears. Beginners may also choose to bend the legs at first.

4. Sitting bicycle crunch

Muscles it works: Obliques, lower abs

How to: Sit on the ground with your knees in a light bend and chest up. Then, take your hands and place them behind your head without tugging on your neck, and lean back slightly. Twist to lift one knee so it meets your opposite elbow, and repeat on the other side.

To make this move harder, you can do a full bicycle crunch, which requires the same pathway while you’re lying on the ground.

5. Reverse crunch

young man doing reverse crunch

Man doing reverse crunches | iStock.com

Muscles it works: Lower abs

How to: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor to start. Keep your hands behind your head or next to your ears during the movement, and ensure your lower back is touching the ground at all times (keeping your head and neck lifted here will help that engagement). Then, bend your knees and crunch them in toward your chest simultaneously before tapping them back down to the ground.

6. Glute bridge

Muscles it works: Glutes, hips, lower back, hamstrings

How to: Begin by lying on your back with arms by your side, keeping knees bent and feet on the floor. By pressing down your feet and bracing through your core, lift your hips toward the ceiling. Slowly lower down and lift again without completely allowing your body to collapse.

7. Side to side crunch

Muscles it works: Obliques, upper abs

How to: Lie on your back, knees bent and on the floor. Push your lower back into the ground to engage your core through the move. To begin, lift your shoulders off the ground and bend at your sides to try and touch the outsides of your shoes. Rock back and forth at a quick pace to feel the movement in your obliques.

8. Plank leg raises

Muscles it works: Back, shoulders, hips, glutes

How to: Get into push-up position with hands right below the shoulders and legs extended. Make sure your back is creating a straight line, too (no arching here!). Then, keeping your core engaged, slowly lift the back leg up while keeping it straight to work the glute. Lower down and lift the other leg.

9. Russian twists

energetic woman doing abdominal exercise

Woman doing weighted Russian twists | iStock.com/jacoblund

Muscles it works: Obliques, upper abs, lower abs

How to: Sit on the ground with good posture and legs slightly bent, feet touching the floor. Take your arms out in front of you and lower back slightly to feel engaged in your abs. Then, twist your upper body slowly to the left and right.

Want to make this move more difficult? Try hovering your feet off the ground or lowering back even more. You can also try taking your arms overhead while you twist.

10. Swimmers

Muscles it works: Back, hips, shoulders, obliques

How to: Begin by lying on your stomach with arms outstretched overhead and legs long behind you. Lift one arm and the opposite leg off the ground at once, and then switch. You’ll feel this exercise primarily in your back and sides.

For a more advanced exercise, keep all limbs hovering off the ground as you lift one arm and leg.

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