10 minutes and 10 moves for stronger abs and better balance

These 10 equipment-free exercises will help you develop core strength and boost your balance

person doing side plank
(Image credit: Getty Images/Westend61)

We wouldn't blame you for wanting your abs workouts to be over as quickly as possible. Yes, having stronger abs can help you build a sturdy core, but blasting through a bunch of sit-ups is exhausting. 

If long and arduous abs workouts are low on your priority list, we think we've found the perfect routine for you to try. You only need a yoga mat to give it a go, and you can have it wrapped up in just 10 minutes.

The swift session comes from personal trainer and social media personality Joe Wicks  (although millions know him as The Body Coach). It's a no-repeat style workout, which means you'll only have to do each exercise once. Don't fret if you're new to some of these exercises; in the video below, Wicks talks you through each move to help you nail down your form.


Watch Joe Wicks' abs workout

To complete the workout, perform the 10 exercises for 40 seconds each, resting for 20 seconds between them. The session is designed to be intense with minimal rest periods, so you can expect your abs to feel fired up after the routine.

Ab muscles form an important part of your core — a group of midsection muscles which link your upper and lower body, support your spine and stabilize your body. It's important to regularly perform some core strengthening exercises, as the muscles in this area play a key role in balance, mobility, posture and general athleticism.

But what's the difference between an abs v core workout? As we mentioned above, your abs are only one part of your core muscle. They are made up of the internal and external obliques (sometimes called 'side abs'), the rectus abdominis (responsible for the six-pack shape) and the transversus abdominis (deep core muscles, running horizontally around your abdomen). 

A dedicated core workout will strengthen your abs as well as lesser-known key core players like the diaphragm and pelvic floor. We'd recommend including moves like planks and glute bridges in your weekly workouts, which target a broad range of the muscles in your core area. 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors, Metro.co.uk, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.