Whether you want to tone your stomach, build six-pack muscle, or develop core strength, you need to work your abdominal muscles. Fortunately, you don't need hours of crunches to see results; just this eight-minute, no-equipment routine.
Even if you're already doing the best workouts for abs, it's not always easy to find time for a longer workout. Plus, this short session is entirely equipment-free, so you can do it when away from home or traveling.
The ab-blasting routine comes from personal trainer Joe Wicks, better known as the Body Coach. To fit a core-strengthening workout into less than 10 minutes, you'll do each move for 40 seconds, take a 20-second rest, and progress to the next exercise.
It's a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), one of Wicks' specialties. This builds muscle, gets you fitter, and burns fat for hours after you finish. The aim is to keep your heart rate high and work as hard as you can for a short period.
Watch Joe Wicks' eight-minute abs challenge
Like many of the Body Coach's workouts, the accessible session is suitable for beginners or experienced exercisers. As the goal is time-based, you can speed up or slow down each move to do as many repetitions as you can in the 40 seconds.
But to get the benefits, you'll need to put your all into each move. It's also a handy way to track your progress over time; as you get stronger, you'll be able to do more reps before the countdown ends.
As with his pandemic-era PE with Joe YouTube workouts, Wicks tackles the session along with you, and many people find this is a valuable way to stay motivated. If you want to try the challenge alone or add the exercises into your routine, you can find all of the moves below.
Joe Wicks' eight-minute abs challenge exercises
- Elbow plank
- Side plank (R)
- Side plank (L)
- Plank shoulder taps
- Slow mountain climber
- Lateral plank walk
- Elbow plank knees to elbows
- Bicycle crunches
Most of these moves are variations on the plank. It's an essential move, so it's worth taking some time to learn how to do a plank properly. This way, you can make sure you nail the form for the most effective workout and avoid injury.
If you want to add variety to your training, pick up one of the best kettlebells, a versatile muscle-building weight, and tackle this five-move kettlebell workout to build core strength and lower body muscle.
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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