When you're short on time, you don't need long gym sessions to train hard and build core strength. Even movie stars like Chris Hemsworth need to fit exercise around busy schedules, which is why his trainer is skilled at designing quick workouts, like this equipment-free 10-minute core routine.
Chris Hemsworth, best known for playing Thor in Marvel's superhero film franchise, has to train hard with a set of adjustable dumbbells to build god-worthy arms and physique. This is why he works with life-long friend, personal trainer Luke Zocchi (opens in new tab), who helps him prepare for each movie.
The pair often have to hit the road for long stretches for promotional tours and other appearances, so they are used to finding a few spare moments to exercise. That's why we asked Luke to use his expertise as Head Trainer at Centr (opens in new tab) to put together this quick 10-minute, no-equipment ab workout you can do from anywhere.
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There are just four moves, and you don't need any equipment, except maybe one of the best yoga mats for support, as you'll be on the floor for most of the routine. The aim is to do all four exercises, take a short rest (between 30 and 60 seconds), and repeat the round four times.
His routine is also more varied than many ab workouts. Rather than relying on workout staples like sit-ups and crunches, the exercises in this session encourage you to engage your core and keep it active throughout, boosting the intensity and the results.
Luke Zocchi's 10-minute core workout
- 10x hollow rocks
- 10x jack knifes
- 10x half jacks
- 10-second boat hold
You're not alone if you start to feel the burn during the workout; Zocchi personally prefers short, intense workouts but knows they're a challenge. "I love shorter, more intense training sessions... The goal of these is to really test yourself—you feel amazing after it but not during it!"
Given all of the benefits—like improved circulation, stability, and performance—core strength is a worthy goal in its own right. But a side effect is that you also develop your rectus abdominis, the six-pack ab muscle. If you want to make your new muscle visible, you'll need to drop body fat first.
You can't spot-target fat around your stomach, so many people choose a HIIT workout for fat loss instead. It's another time-efficient way to train, packing high-intensity heart rate-raising moves into a short session to boost your metabolism.
This helps you burn energy and fat during the session and for hours after, which is why it's an effective choice if you want to drop body fat. To pack all of this in, you train intensely for 30-40 seconds, take a short break, and start the next exercise.
While you can add strength training moves into a HIIT workout, most high-intensity routines are cardio-focused. If you want to burn fat, build muscle, and strengthen your core without spending hours at the gym, you do have options.
One of the top ways to train your lower body, raise your metabolism, and build mid-body muscle is to pick up one of the best kettlebells and learn how to do kettlebell swings. Even just a daily 10-minute session can have impressive results.
James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer 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.
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