Bored of sit-ups? Try these six moves to develop your abs instead
Strengthen your core to boost your balance, improve your posture and ease lower back pain with this 12-minute workout
Abs workouts and sit-ups have gone hand in hand for too long. We think it's time to mix up your midsection training for a more fun, effective workout.
This circuit session will strengthen your abs without any equipment (although a yoga mat is recommended if you're tackling it on a hard floor at home). What's more, there isn't a sit-up or crunch in sight.
Instead, your trainer for the day—James Stirling, better known online as The London Fitness Guy—takes you through six moves that will challenge your abs (and wider core muscles) in a whole new way.
Don't believe us? Just give it a go for yourself.
Perform the first exercise for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then move on to the next one. Follow this format until you've finished all six, then go back to the first move and repeat the sequence for a 12-minute workout.
Take a look at Stirling's video below for a quick how-to guide for each of the exercises, then unroll your yoga mat and give them a try.
Watch The London Fitness Guy's five-move abs workout
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There's a difference between abs vs core training, and this is why Stirling's workout will hit differently to your average sit-up-centric abs blast.
It doesn't just focus on your six-pack muscles (or rectus abdominis, to give them their full title), it also recruits several other functional elements of your core.
For example, the plank rotations will quickly call your internal and external obliques (responsible for rotational movements) into action.
Meanwhile, exercises like plank rocks, jack knives and hip raises will work deep-lying core muscles like your transversus abdominis and multifidus. These are key for stabilizing your spine, so strengthening them can boost your balance, improve your posture and even take pressure off your lower back.
Stirling's session is short too, meaning you can tag it on to the end of a longer strength training workout or use it as a way to fit a quick bit of movement into a busy day.
If you're looking for more core workouts, why not try this super simple three-move session? Or, if you want a time-efficient training option, this workout will hit your abs and arms at the same time.
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.
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