If you've been exercising in your house or apartment during the COVID lockdown period, chances are you've gone to YouTube in search of a great home workout.
Celebrity trainers such as Joe Wicks and Pamela Reif have racked up tens of millions of views as they've encouraged you to try the best exercises for weight loss or best workouts for abs in the comfort of your bedroom, garage, front room, garden, or balcony.
However, the most popular workout on YouTube has racked up an impressive 424 million views and can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Chloe Ting is a popular trainer and fitness influencer offering at-home workouts.
While the promises of "abs in two weeks" need to be taken with a healthy pinch of salt, this 10-minute core workout uses supersets (doing two moves, one after the other, with no rest) and HIIT principles to burn fat and develop core strength simultaneously.
Watch Chloe Ting's abs workout here
Ting's workout uses moves like the reverse crunch and the plank to provide both dynamic and isometric resistance. Dynamic movements, like crunches, lengthen and contract muscles repeatedly in order to stimulate growth, while isometric movements have you holding poses like planks for a set period of time to maintain those contractions for longer. Both have their benefits, but Ting's workout offers the best of both worlds.
It's worth noting that crunches have come under fire for being potentially damaging to your lower back, especially when performed often. Ting does address this, asking her followers to make sure the back is flat on the ground, but if you're worried about your lumbar health you could opt to do alternative moves which don't reply on you lying on the floor, such as repeating planks and mountain climbers, or even hanging leg raises if you have a pull-up bar.
It also needs to be said that while this workout will certainly improve your ab muscles and core strength, visible abs is more about your body fat percentage then how strong your muscles are. If six-pack abs is the goal for you, than you need to ensure you're eating well in addition to exercising for weight loss.
However, after a certain point, visible abs won't improve your overall health, which is why balance is required for any diet to be sustainable over the long term. In some cases, extreme dieting can be as unhealthy as being overweight.
Eating lots of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and lean cuts of meat and fish, is always beneficial, but don't be afraid to indulge for an occasional treat. That flexibility is an approach that many people find works for them long-term.
You also need lots of protein to make sure your muscles repair themselves effectively. If you're struggling to get this in your daily diet, our best protein powder for weight loss guide can help.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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