Getting a toned, flat stomach and a strong core doesn’t have to mean spending an hour sweating through a long list of ab exercises. In fact, when you have the right moves (like the ones below!), all you need to do is set aside 10 minutes a day for your midsection to see results. Grab a mat and put your core to work with these powerful, tummy-tighteners.
What it works: abs, back, legs, arms
1. Start in a push-up position, hands flat on the floor and below your shoulders, legs extended behind you. Your body should be straight.
2. Bend your right leg and bring it in toward your chest, then straighten it and return to starting position. Repeat with your left leg. Alternating legs, slowly do as many as you can for 60 seconds, making sure to keep your hips and butt low.
What it works: abs, legs
1. Put your hands behind your butt, lift your head, and slightly lift your legs off the floor, keeping your core tight.
2. Pointing your toes, bring one foot up, then the other, and repeat so they’re fluttering, making sure you’re not touching the floor. Repeat for 30 seconds.
3. Slowly bring your legs back to the floor.
What it works: abs, shoulders, thighs
1. Stand with your legs about a foot apart. Keeping one hand on your hip, reach the other up in a diagonal direction toward your head.
2. Lift your left knee to right elbow as you perform a standing crunch, then return to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
4 LONG ARM CRUNCH
What it works: abs, waist
1. Start on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Focus on using your abs to lift your upper body off the floor as you straighten your arms and bring your hands together (like an arrow pointing to the center of your legs).
2. Keep things basic by going straight up and down, or turn things up a notch by working your obliques: Reach to the left side, then back to the center, then to the right side and back to the center. Repeat for 30 seconds, rest, then do another 30-second set.
What it works: waist, back, hips, shoulder
1. Lean on your left elbow with your body and right arm raised. (Your elbow should be directly below your shoulder.) Extend your right (top) leg as you lift your body and bend your left leg behind you, keeping it on the ground.
2. Lower your hips a few inches, then lift back up. Slowly do as many small dips as you can for 30 seconds, then switch over to your right side and repeat.
6 SIDE SQUAT REACH
What it works: abs, waist, shoulders, back, thighs
1. Step out into a wide squat with your feet turned out and your knees bent. (Make sure that your knees don’t go over your toes.) Keep your upper body straight up as you push out of your squat and raise your right arm to reach over to your left side.
2. Bring your right arm back down and resume your squatting position. Then repeat on the other side, reaching over to your right side with your left arm. Repeat this side-to-side motion for 60 seconds.
7 LEG LIFT
What it works: lower abs, waist
1. Lie on your back and sit up on your elbows. Place your hands flat on the floor by your sides. Lift your legs off the floor with a slight bend if you need it.
2. Lift your hips up, bringing your legs to the ceiling, then bring your lower legs and glutes back on the floor. Slowly lower your legs, then lift them back up, making sure there’s no space between your lower back and the floor the entire time. (The farther down you go, the more challenging it will be.) Slowly do as many as you can for 30 seconds.
What it works: waist, abs
1. Lie on your back with your legs together and arms straight over your head.
2. Flex your feet and tighten your legs, slowly bringing your body up and over your thighswith your arms reached out straight in front of you. To make the exercise harder and work the obliques, do a twist at the top.
3. After pausing, slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time, making sure the movement is as controlled as possible.