Killer Routine for Your Abs and Core in Minutes

Let’s get straight to it, here’s a routine that you can use to really hit the abs and core fast. The whole thing takes about 8 minutes and it’s enough to offer you a really intensive challenge…

The Routine

  • 30 Reps of Crunches
  • 20 Reps of Bicycle Crunches
  • Sky Touchers (These are essentially leg raises, except you’re bringing the knees up first then kicking your feet upward as though you were trying to kick the ceiling lamp)
  • 30 Seconds of Rest
  • 20 Reps of Crunches
  • 10 Reps of Single Leg Toe Touches (Bring your leg straight up and touch it with the hand on the same side)
  • 10 Reps of Single Leg Crunches (Bring one knee up to the stomach and roll slightly on that side toward it. Alternate)
  • 30 Seconds of Rest
  • 30 Reps of Crunches
  • 30 Oblique Toe Touches (Lying on one side and resting on one arm, raise your legs up sideways and then touch them with the arm on that side)
  • 30 Leg Flutters (Lie flat on the ground and then gradually ‘flutter’ your legs up and down without letting your heels touch the ground at any point).

Tips and Explanations

That’s the routine and if you’ve given it a go, then you’ll definitely already know that it really works. So now it’s time to unravel it and explain. What makes this routine so effective and how can you ensure you get the most out of it?

The key to an effective workout for the abs is to keep it intense. That means minimal rest time and lots of fast moves. This works because it not only tones the muscle but also involves a cardio element, ensuring you’re stripping away fat to reveal the abs underneath. Think of yourself as a sculptor, chipping away at the excess material to reveal those granite abs underneath.

At the same time, because it’s hard to add resistance to an abs workout, performing routines like this ensure that you’re still getting enough of a challenge. By performing lots of repetitions in rapid succession, you’re training the slow-twitch muscle fiber and increasing your time under tension. The latter floods the abs with metabolites such as growth hormone and IGF1 that trigger growth.

Finally, this routine works because it hits all the separate areas of the core. This is crucial to remember with any similar workout. Here, you’re not only working out the rectus abdominis (the plate of muscle across the top of the abs) but also the obliques down either side and the transverse abdominis (which lives underneath the surface and helps you keep your stomach flat). You’re also working the top and bottom of the abs with the leg raises and crunches.

Make sure when you crunch that you roll your abs up rather than just ‘folding’ your body. The latter trains your hip flexors more than your abs.

Give it a go and keep these principles in mind to see how it’s really working that core strength!

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