You don't need sit-ups to develop your abs—try these two moves instead

This bodyweight workout will strengthen your core and boost your balance in less than 10 minutes

A woman performing straight leg toe touches outdoors as part of a core workout
(Image credit: Getty)

Working on your core should be an essential part of anyone’s exercise routine, with plenty of benefits awaiting those who take the time to train this area. 

Your core includes your abs, but it’s more than just your six-pack—the muscles in your midsection play a key role in supporting your spine and stabilizing your entire body.

As a result, strong core muscles contribute to improved balance and can support the muscles in your lower back when you’re lifting heavy things, either in the gym or in your day-to-day life, reducing the chance of injury in this area. 

If you want to train you core, there's nothing to stop you getting started straight away. Core workouts often don’t need any equipment (though a yoga mat (opens in new tab) for extra cushioning on harder floors is a welcome luxury), and they don't usually take too long either. 

Our featured workout from Sweat app trainer Kelsey Wells (opens in new tab) consists of just two moves and will take less than 10 minutes. 

Watch Wells' video to learn about the two moves you'll be performing. 

Watch Kelsey Wells' two-move ab workout

A post shared by KELSEY WELLS (@kelseywells) (opens in new tab)

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The abs workout (opens in new tab) alternates between hollow holds (one of the best ab exercises and a staple of gymnastic training) and straight-leg toe taps. Perform each exercise for one minute, then rest for one minute. Complete three rounds in total.

They may only use your bodyweight, but the two movements Wells has chosen are far from easy. If you struggle to complete them, she suggests lowering the time working to 30 seconds or 15 seconds each round. 

If the hollow hold is too challenging this time, you can also try swapping them for straight leg raises or bent-leg raises to build the core strength needed to perform the full exercise.

Because it's so short, this workout is a fantastic way to fit some movement into your day when you might not have had time otherwise. Or, if you're looking for a longer session, you can tag this routine on to the end of a strength training session as a finisher. 

This six-move beginner-friendly workout (opens in new tab) is a great place to start if you're looking to build full-body strength as you only need a couple of dumbbells to try it at home. 

If you want to focus on your upper body and you don’t have access to any weights, this 30-minute session (opens in new tab) will fit your needs, or our feature on the best legs workout (opens in new tab) could be the inspiration you need if you're looking to boost your lower-body power. 

Harry Bullmore

Harry Bullmore is a fitness writer covering everything from reviews to features for LiveScience, T3, TechRadar, Fit&Well and more. So, whether you’re looking for a new fitness tracker or wondering how to shave seconds off your 5K PB, chances are he’s written something to help you improve your training.

When not writing, he’s most likely to be found experimenting with a wide variety of training methods in his home gym or trying to exhaust his ever-energetic puppy.

Prior to joining Future, Harry wrote health and fitness product reviews for publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Before this, he spent three years as a news reporter with work in more than 70 national and regional newspapers.