13 moves and 30 minutes to strengthen your abs and boost your endurance

This short core workout builds strength, improves your balance, and boosts your metabolism without weights

Exercise group performing ice skaters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If your workout intention today is to work your abs and core, and get your heart rate raised, then we've got the routine for you. In just 30 minutes, you will work your abdominal muscles through a series of moves using only your bodyweight. 

The routine comes from NASM-certified personal trainer Sydney Cummings Houdyshell and is a great way to develop full body strength with only minimal equipment. And, importantly, Houdyshell guides you through the entire routine. 

To take part, all you'll need is yoga mat to soften your workout surface. Houdyshell's workouts are also known to pack a punch, so we'd recommend having some water and a sweat towel nearby.

The routine alternates between cardio-focused exercises to raise your heart rate and burn fat, with ab workouts to strengthen your midsection and increase your endurance. You'll do each exercise for two minutes, then start on the next move. This is a non-stop workout, so you will work through the 30 minutes.

Watch Sydney Cummings Houdyshell's abs workout

As the workout focuses on endurance, this means you should dial back your exertion intensity to around 50-75% of your maximum, Houdyshell says. This will help you get through to the end of the routine without affecting your technique or form. 

Despite frequent interchangeable use, there is a difference between abs and core training. While abs make up a portion of your core section (the exterior muscles responsible for the appearance of a six-pack), working your entire core is vital if you want to improve your stability, workout performance, and boost your circulation.

However, if a six-pack is your goal, it's important to remember you can't spot-target fat around your body. You'll need to focus on workouts that help you burn fat, like a high-intensity HIIT workout for fat loss. This keeps your heart rate high and helps to boost your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn throughout the day). 

As this is a non-stop abs workout, you'll probably feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the following day. This is normal and is the result of tiny tears in your muscles that have happened during your workout.

Your body uses protein to help repair, strengthen, and grow your muscles, so it's important to eat several types of protein throughout the day. However, it's also worth keeping topped up with a post-workout shake using the best protein powders for weight loss.

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.