It only takes 10 minutes and five moves to build abs and strengthen your core

This series of back-to-back exercises are designed to strengthen your core and help build abdominal muscle

Man performing sit ups
(Image credit: Getty)

If you don't enjoy training abs, you aren't alone. Fortunately, training this area of your body doesn't have to take long. This 10-minute routine shows you five moves specifically designed to build strength in your core and help define your six-pack muscles, aka the abdominals.

There are lots of best workouts for abs out there and the internet is especially saturated with varying core strengthening exercises. Rather than try to cram all of these into one long ab session, it's a good idea to whittle things down to fewer exercises, nail your form, and really focus on engaging the core to start noticing significant results in your midsection muscles.

Fitness instructor and Gymshark athlete Nona Bayat (opens in new tab) has pieced together five ab-targeting exercises to demonstrate how time-efficient core workouts can be. According to Bayat it only takes nine minutes and 30 seconds to complete, so this really is a time-saving option for those running on busy schedules.

You will complete all five exercises for 30 seconds each, which may sound short but they are to be completed back to back, meaning there will be no rests in-between. However, you will get to take a minute rest between each round of the routine and Bayat recommends you try and complete three rounds of the workout.

Watch Nona Bayat's Five-Move Ab and Core Workout

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Not only is this workout a time-efficient routine to complete but it also requires no equipment so you can use it whenever and wherever. It's also a convenient workout finisher. Perhaps you might like to get a quick ab blast in after a weight lifting session that involved compound lifts. Compound exercises require stabilization of the core so the stronger your core is the better your lifting will be.

Or you might come back from a run and want to throw in these exercises to help keep your core strong and stable to enhance your running performance. One study published in the PLOS One (opens in new tab) journal found that eight weeks of core training showed improvements to core endurance and running economy amongst a group of college athletes.

We all have different physical and aesthetic goals when it comes to fitness, but regardless, everyone can benefit from training their core and ab muscles. We've listed all the moves you'll need below to use Bayat's ten-minute ab routine.

  • Hollow hold with heel taps: 30 seconds
  • Bicycles: 30 seconds
  • Knee hold crunches: 30 seconds
  • Elbow to toe touches: 30 seconds
  • In & outs: 30 seconds

Building a set of abs isn't wholly down to exercise. If you're channeling all your energy and efforts into crunches and not seeing results, you could benefit from taking a look at your diet. 

Although everyone's genetics and biological body compositions vary, most people will have to lower their body fat in order to reveal abdominal muscle. This doesn't mean you have to restrict yourself from your favorite meals or snacks but you will want to consider lowering your daily calorie intake.

If you find it hard reducing your portion sizes or can't last without snacks in-between meals and find this is hindering your fat loss goals then a good way to go about this is to increase your protein intake.

Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, helping your body to burn more calories and it helps keep you fuller for longer. Some of the best protein powders for weight loss can help boost your daily intake.

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.