You don’t need equipment to strengthen your core - just this 10-minute ab routine

Eight exercises in 10-minutes to help build core strength and improve definition in your abs

Two women complete a core and ab workout outdoors
(Image credit: Getty)

The benefits of having a strong core are endless. Core-based exercises help to train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen to work better together, helping to improve things like balance and stability. This makes daily tasks easier to do and will assist in tightening your abs if this is something you are eager to work on.

Some of the best workouts for abs are really effective at developing strength and muscle across your abdominal muscles. But it's also worthwhile working in additional core exercises to your usual routine if you want to feel stronger overall in your workouts, as a stronger core can help reduce fatigue, increase endurance and prevent injury.

This is where this very short core routine from fitness YouTuber GAINSBYBRAINS, also known as Sophie, comes in handy. If you're able to spare just 10-minutes aside for this session, you'll conquer eight core and ab focussed exercises, including variations of popular mid-section moves such as crunches and the plank.

To ensure you get as much as you can from this workout and make it a challenge you will perform each exercise for 45 seconds and take short 15 seconds to rest in between. This interval-style workout is a really great way to maximize results in a short amount of time and according to research, is one of the most effective ways to burn calories quickly too.

This is an equipment-free workout so you can pretty much complete this workout anywhere, such as out in your garden or local park if the weather is nice. The full routine is floor-based so do consider placing something underneath your back for support like a towel or one of the best yoga mats.


This interval-style workout doesn't set out any repetition targets for each move so it's great for beginners to complete as you only have to complete what you can for each exercise. The main thing you will want to focus on is your form since good form will help you get more out of your workout and boost results. Watch Sophie's demonstrations of each move to make sure you are getting the most out of the short session.

Want to give the workout a go? We've included a list of all the moves you will need below. Just note that on those single side exercises you will perform these for 45 seconds on each side.

  • Oblique crunch 
  • Toe touch 
  • Single reverse crunch 
  • Bicycle crunch 
  • Single leg raise 
  • Double leg raises 
  • Knee ins 
  • Star plank 

Although your muscles around the stomach area can seem like a more stubborn location to tone up or notice any form of improvement in, scientific research published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that you can start noticing improvements to core strength after just four weeks of training.

If you have been relentless with performing ab and core exercises for a while but not seeing the results you wish to see, you might have a layer of stomach fat stopping you from seeing your toned muscle. Learning how to lower body fat percentage encapsulates building balance across your fitness and diet habits. Things like increasing your protein intake, which can be made easier with one of the best protein powders for weight loss, and adding some weight training to your schedule will help you on your way to achieving a leaner and healthier body.

For anyone who likes adding an extra challenge to their workouts, try adding one of the best ab rollers at the end of your next ab session and see how strong your core really is. You'll also be giving your upper body a workout at the same time.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. 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.