I tried the Daisy Keech ab workout and here’s why I’ll be doing it again

The Daisy Keech ab workout has over 15 million views on YouTube, so it was time I tried it—here's what happened

Our writer Jessica tries doing bicycle crunches as part of the Daisy Keech ab workout
(Image credit: Future/Jessica Downey)

Despite writing about ab workouts regularly, I hadn't yet tried the viral Daisy Keech ab workout. It's just not an area of my body that I train as much as I should. Therefore, I thought it was about time I gave it a go—after all, it only takes 10 minutes to complete and supposedly helps you achieve an hourglass body shape. 

I didn't have much to lose by giving this workout a go (other than a dented ego if I couldn't complete it) and it's perfect for training in the comfort of your own home as no equipment is required at all. Plus I figured it could only benefit my performance while running, full-body weight training with some of the best adjustable dumbbells and yoga (here's what happened when I did yoga for 30 days straight). And lo and behold: all three of these activities require a strong core.

Daisy Keech published this ab workout published to her YouTube channel in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. Since then the video has accumulated over 15 million views with people still commenting about their results.

Keech's approach to using her favorite ab exercises in this routine is fairly simple: she performs 10 exercises for a minute each and has no rests in-between, as she finds that provides a greater burn. I can verify this after wincing through the last few minutes of this workout!

She also avoids any exercises that will target her obliques, such as side planks, because she believes this avoids building her waist out and instead wishes to create a cinched, hourglass waistline.

I tend to be put off workouts that are too focused on creating a certain body shape, as everyone is born with different body compositions. Less motivated by the promise of a cinched waist and more interested in how hard this workout could actually be, I gave it a go. Keep reading to find out why I'll be doing it again.

Watch the Daisy Keech ab workout here

1.My core isn't as strong as I thought it was

Keech recommends doing this video every day and if you're like me the first attempt can easily put you off. However, it sounds simple but it's true: the more you train a muscle group, the less painful and challenging it gets, hence why so many people graduate to lifting heavier weights in their workouts. They need to up the intensity as their muscles grow and adapt.

As much as I hate to admit it, I got halfway through the Keech ab routine and realized my core is nowhere near as robust as I remembered it being. Once upon a time during the pandemic, I was completing an ab workout on top of a HIIT session because I had nothing better to do. As a result, I was noticing how strong and stable I felt in my runs as a result. These days it's a miracle if you see me sparing time to do a one-minute plank after a resistance session at the gym.

Therefore, I will definitely be squeezing this short ab routine onto the end of my next gym session. It's super quick to do and, despite the hurt when you laugh or twist your core the next day, you know the pain means your muscles must be getting stronger. If you're new to training your mid-section, you can also give this abs workout for beginners a shot.

2. It benefits your posture and prevents back pain

I am fairly tall for a female and from a young age have always been told not to slouch, the warning being this will affect my posture and potentially trigger back problems later in life. As well as sitting and standing up straight more, building core strength is also a great way to maintain good posture.

According to Harvard Health your core muscles act as the 'sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body'. So whether you are dodging out the way of something on the street, just vacuuming your home, or playing sport, a lot of your movement originates in your core. 

This is even more imperative for any eager runners out there. I started running as a child for an athletics club then kept it up as a hobby in adulthood and it's something I certainly don't want to give up as a result of an avoidable injury. In a study published in the Journal of Biomechanics, scientists revealed that runners with weak deep core muscles are at a greater risk of developing low back pain. 

The team of researchers from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that weak deep core muscles force more superficial muscles to work harder and reach fatigue faster. The weaker your core the more your body has to compensate and this increases the load on your spine which may lead to low back pain.

Your core refers to the 360-degree stability of your midsection including your lower back, stomach, and hips, whereas your abdominal muscles make up a smaller fraction of this area. It's important to note that Daisy Keech's workout is more ab-focused than core. So just doing traditional ab exercises, ones with a large range of motions (such as sit-ups), will not build you an invincible core. 

But focussing on static exercises like learning how to do a plank correctly will stabilize your core, teaching you to hold your body in place and ultimately make a better runner out of you. I also like to add in one of the best ab rollers at the end of a core session for one last burn.

Woman completing toe taps, an exercise from the Daisy Keech ab workout

(Image credit: Getty)

3. It can help to build definition

It's really important to highlight here that the visibility of ab muscles depends on body fat percentage and you can't spot train your abdominal muscles to get rid of body fat. But this isn't to say you can't tone and define this area of muscle with the right kind of exercises and consistency.

After just one shot at this workout, I could feel exactly where had been worked and could even notice very slight definition. I did try it right before lunch when I was verging on an empty stomach and probably hadn't been drinking enough water. This I do not recommend, as normally I keep one of the best water bottles for the gym by my side 24/7 to keep me hydrated.

If your fitness goal is to build a set of more defined abs then a combination of regular abdominal exercises alongside some weight training and a healthy diet can help you tone and strengthen your core. We have answers to some key nutritional questions on dieting and building muscle such as 'how much protein do I need?' which can help shape your progress.

Daisy Keech Ab Workout: How to do it

  • Basic crunches - 1 minute 
  • Bicycle kicks - 1 minute
  • Jack knives - 1 minute, 15 per side
  • Russian twists - 1 minute 
  • Toe taps - 1 minute
  • Bicycle crunches - 1 minute, 15 per side
  • Scissor kicks - 1 minute
  • Reverse crunches - 1 minute 
  • Butterfly kicks - 1 minute 
Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.