All you need is seven moves, seven minutes and this household item to strengthen your core

You don't need fancy gym equipment for an effective ab workout

A woman performing a v-up as part of an ab workout
(Image credit: Getty)

There's no need to complicate core workouts with elaborate exercises and expensive equipment. You can target your abs with your bodyweight alone, or (in the case of this session) with the help of a single household object. 

The only thing you're going to need to give it a go is a pillow (although we'd recommend investing in one of the best yoga mats to protect your back if you plan to exercise on a hard floor). 

Once you've got your gear, you'll be ready to lie back and feel the burn with this workout from celebrity trainer and health coach Jeanette Jenkins. It consists of just seven simple moves and takes only seven minutes to complete, but is sure to leave your mid-section feeling fatigued.

All you need to do is perform the seven moves as a circuit, spending 30 seconds on each one before moving straight on to the next exercise. Complete two rounds of this circuit to finish the workout. Simple, right?

You can make the session easier by only performing the circuit once through, or make it more challenging by adding another round. 

Watch Jenkins' video below to find out which seven exercises await you, and how to perform them with perfect form. Practice the technique of each one until you feel comfortable, then it's time to dive into this short-yet-testing session. 

Watch Jeanette Jenkins' ab workout

When people think of the best ab workouts, the first exercises to spring to mind are usually sit-ups and crunches. However, there's more to effective core training than meets the eye.

The rectus abdominis (responsible for the "six-pack" aesthetic) is just one of the muscles making up the core, with multiple movement patterns needed to engage all of them. For example, rotational exercises like the ab twists in this workout will target the internal and external obliques (the long muscles that run down the side of your trunk). Meanwhile, exercises like plank pillow taps will call your transverse abdominis (key for stabilizing the spine) into action. 

If you find this session too difficult, give our core workout for beginners a go to build more midline strength, then come back to Jenkins' workout when you feel ready. 

If you want to weave this versatile workout into your training plan, there are very few places it won't fit. Taking less than ten minutes, it's ideal for a quick lunch-break session or as a way to squeeze a little exercise into a busy day. 

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.