10 moves, 10 minutes, and no equipment to build ab muscle and core strength

This bodyweight abs workout only takes 10 minutes to train your core and improve stability

Man holding a plank
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you want to strengthen your abs or work towards a six-pack, you're usually told that you need to spend hours on crunches and sit-ups to see results. But the truth is, you can build core strength in as little as 10 minutes with this 10-move ab workout.

The routine is packed with core strengthening exercises, including crunches, but the aim is to train intensely for short periods with only minimal rest. It's a varied routine, and you don't need any equipment, making it ideal for when you only have a few moments to spare.

If you're new to ab workouts, you'll want to follow along with the workout, led by personal trainer Joe Wicks, known by his handle, The Body Coach. Wicks' routines are designed to be short, effective, and generally suitable for all levels.

To pack 10 moves into just 10 minutes, you'll exercise for 40 seconds, take a 20-second break, then start on the next move. As it's a quick ab session, you can add it to the end of your regular workout or repeat the circuit a few times for an extended core routine.

Focusing on your technique to get the best results is essential, but it's easy to find yourself accidentally arching your back instead of activating your core. So, do check out Wicks' demonstrations to practice your form. And consider rolling out one of the best yoga mats for some support too.

Watch The Body Coach's 10-minute ab workout

This exercise style is known as High-Intensity Interval Training, where the aim is to train hard in short bursts with only minimal rest. This works your muscles and increases your heart rate to burn energy and fat.

Keeping your heart rate high also boosts your metabolism for all-day fat burning. It's an effective and time-efficient way to reach your weight loss goals, which is why many people turn to a HIIT workout for fat loss.

If you want to try Wicks' routine, we've listed all the moves you need below. There are several crunch variations, alongside workout staples like planks and bear crawls, taking you up to 10 ab exercises to build core strength.

  • Bear crawl reach forward
  • Soldier crunches on knees (R)
  • Soldier crunches on knees (L)
  • Bear crawl elbow to knees
  • Single kick-out crunch (R)
  • Single kick-out crunch (L)
  • Scissor clap unders
  • Side plank (20 on each side)
  • Up down bear crawls
  • Elbow plank

You'll often hear people use the terms abs and core interchangeably, and although they are similar areas of your body, there are some key differences. Your core is a section of mid-body muscle responsible for balance, stability, and workout performance.

You can use routines like this to develop this area or even use some core yoga for building stronger abs. However, one of the muscles that make up your core is the rectus abdominis, otherwise known as the six-pack abs muscle. 

But, if you're looking to develop a visible six-pack, you'll also need to reduce the fat around your stomach. You can't spot target fat, but your diet can play an important role, so be sure to check out what to eat to lose belly fat.

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.