Build core strength in just 10 minutes with this equipment-free workout

Just ten minutes of core-based exercise to help stabilize your body better

Woman doing a crunch outside
(Image credit: Getty)

Your core muscle group is what stabilizes your body and as result, affects the quality of your balance and posture. So it's safe to say you can make both daily tasks and exercise easier when you have a stronger core. Fortunately, core training does not have to take long at all and this 10-minute routine is a great example.

Implementing core strengthening exercises into your fitness regime doesn't come with any faff. Most of the time they don't actually require any weight but you will benefit from placing one of the best yoga mats beneath you when working out. You just need to work against your own body weight using the right kind of movement to target your core. 

Whether you are well acquainted with many of the best workouts for abs or not, you will get the most from your workout if you follow along with the demonstrations, led by Sophie van Oostenbrugge (best known online as Gainsbybrains (opens in new tab)).

Inside this 10-minute workout, you will perform each exercise for 45 seconds followed by 15 seconds of rest. Those who don't ever feel like they have enough time in the day to exercise should take advantage of this short core workout. Alternatively, it can be added to the end of your regular workout to ensure your core has thoroughly been engaged while you exercise.

If you are never quite sure what exactly workout instructors mean when they say to 'engage your core', you aren't alone. If it isn't something you are used to doing then you can pick up what this should feel like through yoga practice. Try out these beginner's yoga exercises if you want to nail that mind-to-body connection as you work out.

Watch Gainsbybrains 10-minute core building workout

If you are familiar with different workout styles then you will have gathered that this is a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval training) style routine. When you have your body work through intense short bursts of exercise with minimal rest your muscles are being trained hard and your heart rate increases to burn fat.

However, intense shouldn't be interpreted as move as fast as you can. Oostenbrugge set a goal for this workout and that is to: "go as SLOW as you can during this 10 minute ab workout". When you apply slow and controlled movement to your exercise, the body relies less on momentum and, instead, depends on the strength of your muscles. This tip can assist in developing core strength and in improving definition across your abdominal muscles.

We all know that exercise can help with maintaining mobility and activity levels as you grow older. Research (opens in new tab)has shown that this is another reason why training your core is so important as it can contribute to injury prevention. Your core supports your spine and when this support is weak, the greater risk you can put yourself at of injury. 

If you would like to diversify your training for building a stronger core and supporting your back weight lifting is also really beneficial. Space-saving equipment like some of the best adjustable dumbbells are handy for people who prefer to train at home. Alternatively, the free weight section of the gym is an excellent place to familiarize yourself with.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.