This 10-minute core workout helps build ab muscle using just your bodyweight

Complete 10 ab exercises in 10 minutes to tone and define your core muscle

Man trains his core ad ab muscles with his bodyweight
(Image credit: Getty)

Ab workouts are tough but they don't need to take long and you can gain significant results from them without the need for any equipment. If you're on the hunt for a workout that will develop core muscle and tone your abs, you should try this seven-exercise bodyweight routine.

The one thing that can come in use when training your core is having something to lay on as you train on the floor. One of the best yoga mats from our product roundup is a sensible option for protecting your lower back from a hard surface or a blanket or towel can also add a layer of support.

If you already use popular core strengthening exercises such as Russian twists and reverse crunches in your regular fitness regime, then you should pick up this workout by Gainsbybrains (opens in new tab) quite quickly. Sophie van Oostenbrugge, the workout instructor behind Gainsbybrains, will lead you through this short and intense 10-minute session. 

There are 10 moves to get through and no repeats. You will work on an exercise for 45 seconds followed by a 15-second break in between each. There aren't a set number of repetitions to complete per exercise so there is no need to rush through it. Instead, focus on your form, using proper form will boost how efficient your exercise is and helps you use more energy for the muscles you want to push.

Watch Gainsbybrains 10-Minute Core Workout

Everyone knows that abs don't appear overnight but some may not know the abdominal muscles only account for a section of your entire core. For example, the core also accounts for your obliques, which some consider the 'side abs', and are also what helps you turn your body from side to side. So keeping your ab workouts varied is key if you want an all around toned midsection.

If you want to expand your bank of core engaging exercises, we've listed each move from the Gainsbybrains ab session below. You can pretty much complete it anywhere, so feel free to not these down or paste them into the notes section of your mobile.

  • Single leg crunch R
  • Single leg crunch L
  • In and outs
  • Reverse crunch
  • High bicycle
  • Leg raises
  • Seated bicycles
  • Full crunch
  • Scissors
  • Plank crunch

Aside from the visual element of building a strong mid-section, you can also make aging an easier experience by maintaining strong core muscle. In a 2021 review paper (opens in new tab), researchers found that adults who complete daily core strengthening exercises are more likely to improve their balance, independence, and quality of life.

A great way to support the development of core strength and muscle is by fuelling your body with the right diet. Learning how to create a calorie deficit to lose weight will involve avoiding highly processed foods that are bad for you and instead eating meals that are rich in nutrients. 

One very important nutrient being protein, not only will this keep you fuller for longer helping to lower your body fat and make those abs more visible, but it will also aid both recovery and growth when training your core. Some of the best protein powders for weight loss are great for blending into your favorite smoothie or oats.

Jessica Downey
Jessica Downey

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.