A 10-Minute Workout For Abs That Doesn’t Include Crunches Or Planks

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Crunches and planks are effective ab exercises when your form is perfect. But too often the hip flexors, neck, and arms end up working overtime instead of the muscles you’re actually trying to target: your core!

“Planks are great in that they engage the whole core, but as you fatigue you tend to take the pressure of your bodyweight into your arms and shoulders,” explains Dara Theodore, instructor at The Fhitting Room.

Theodore created this 10-minute workout for your abs that focuses on exercises that targets your entire core (abs, hips, glutes, and back) safely and effectively. “This routine challenges the body to move in different ways and incorporates exercises that strengthen the mid and upper back, which also helps with posture,” she adds.

Here’s How To Do The Workout:

  • Do each move for 45 seconds
  • Rest for 15 seconds after each move
  • Repeat 2x

Bird Dog Crunch — 45 seconds

Whitney Thielman

This move really engages your obliques without stressing common trouble spots like your hip flexors.

  • Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position with your wrists above your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
  • Extend your right arm forward and left leg back, maintaining a flat back and square hips.
  • Squeeze your abs and exhale as you draw your right elbow to your left knee.
  • Extend back out to start. Continue alternating sides for 45 seconds.

Goblet Squat — 45 seconds

Whitney Thielman

Holding the weight in front of your body helps keep your chest up and body in proper alignment throughout the movement, explains Theodore. And keeping proper posture requires recruiting the muscles of the core.

  • Hold the weight at your chest in both hands and stand with your feet hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Stand tall and engage your core.
  • Drop your butt back and down as you keep your chest up, sitting back onto your heels without shifting your weight forward onto the balls of your feet.
  • Drive through your heels to come back up to standing. Squeeze your glutes at the top.
  • Continue for 45 seconds.

Renegade Row — 45 seconds

Whitney Thielman

Try to keep your body still, moving only your arms as you row the weights up, explains Theodore.

  • Start in high plank, each hand holding on to a dumbbell that is resting on the floor.
  • Pull right elbow back, raising dumbbell toward chest keeping right elbow close to torso, abs tight and hips facing down.
  • Lower weight and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Continue for 45 seconds.

Side Lunge — 45 seconds

Whitney Thielman

“Working all parts of the glutes and keeping them strong is one key to a healthy core and back,” Theodore adds.

  • Stand with feet together. Take a big step out to the right with your right foot and bend your right knee, pushing your hips back to lower into a side lunge. Be sure to keep your left leg straight.
  • Push through right foot to return to standing, and then repeat on the opposite side.
  • Continue for 45 seconds, alternating legs with each rep.

Elevated Push-Up — 45 seconds

Whitney Thielman

Keep a strong and stable plank position while lowering your arms to really work your core, explains Theodore. And if you’re working toward full push-ups, this variation is a great way to build upper-body strength.

  • Start in high plank with your hands resting on a low box, bench, step, or couch.
  • Keeping your elbows close to your torso, bend your arms and lower your chest to meet the top of the box.
  • Be sure to keep your core tight and spine long. Then, push through your palms to straighten arms.
  • Continue for 45 seconds.

Repeat that circuit a total of two times.

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