It takes just eight minutes to build a super strong core with this simple workout

Target all of your core muscles with this fun circuit session

Woman doing abs workout in gym
(Image credit: Getty)

Let’s face it: ab workouts can be pretty boring. Not only are they repetitive but they often recycle the same old movements, leaving you bored while failing to train your entire core. 

However, there's a whole world of ab movements out there worth playing around with — you can try some kettlebell abs exercises (opens in new tab) to mix things up, or splash out on a fun bit of kit like one of the best ab rollers (opens in new tab)

Personal trainer Meggan Grubb recently took to Instagram to share a simple but effective ab workout, incorporating a number of movements that will engage some of those core muscles we often neglect.

You only need eight minutes to complete this workout, so it’s perfect for lunch breaks or as a finisher after a strength or HIIT session. Plus, you only have to do each exercise for 30 seconds, meaning that painful ab burn won’t last too long. 

Watch Grubbs’ video below for a tutorial on how to do each movement, so you can perfect your form for optimal results.

Watch Megan Grubbs’ 4 movement ab workout

A post shared by Meggan Kirkland (@meggangrubb) (opens in new tab)

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The only equipment you need for this workout is a plate. It’s best to start with something light like a 2.5kg or 5kg plate while you get to grips with the movement. Or, if you don’t have any weights at home, you can use a household object like a water bottle or a book. It’s also a good idea to use a yoga mat while doing this workout, to protect your back. You can find our guide to the best yoga mats (opens in new tab) here.

This workout targets the entire core, with exercises like see-saws also improving balance and stability. The cycle legs movement will also engage the obliques, which are the muscles that run down the side of your trunk area.

Core strength is not only important in order to improve the appearance of your abdominal muscles, it can help with overall strength and flexibility too. A 2015 review of studies (opens in new tab) found that good core strength might even help to reduce or prevent issues like back pain.

If you’re a beginner and this workout seems too difficult, you could modify it by doing the sit-ups without a weight and placing your feet on the floor during the see-saws. Or, try one of these ab workouts for beginners instead.

Another way to modify the workout is by doing the movements for shorter bursts, like 15 or 20 seconds, increasing the time as you build strength and increase fitness.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.