Sit-ups are a great way to work your abs, but they're not the only way to strengthen your core. And, anyway, endless repetitions of sit-ups and crunches can get a bit boring after a while.
Fortunately, you can shake things up with this short, 10-minute core workout. You don't need weights either — just a single resistance band. The best resistance bands often come in sets of several strengths, so you can find one that'll challenge your muscles.
This routine was developed for the workout app Alo Moves' Summer Sculpt program and can help you train over the next few months whether you're at home, traveling, or away from the gym with minimal equipment.
You'll want a medium-strength resistance band that'll challenge your muscles and gives some resistance, plus it's worth rolling out a yoga mat for support if you've got one to hand.
It's a coached workout, so you can follow along to perfect your form. This is essential to get the most from your training, avoid injury, and keep your core engaged to prevent arching your lower back.
Watch Alo Moves' 10-minute core workout
You might have heard people use the terms core and abs interchangeably, but there are some differences. Your abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis six-pack muscle, form part of your core, a section of muscle around your stomach.
The core muscle connects your upper and lower body and is responsible for balance, stability, and workout performance. And strengthening the connection between your torso and legs helps improve your posture.
And because the routine uses a blend of workout techniques like high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) and a Tabata workout, you'll work your muscles hard with very few rests to keep the intensity high.
This raises your heart rate, so you'll burn more energy than during a steady-paced ab workout. And in the longer term, it'll help boost your metabolism; the amount of energy you burn throughout the day.
It has a similar effect to an equipment-free high-intensity HIIT workout for fat loss, except with a focus on muscle-building moves instead of cardio-focused exercises — ideal for developing visible ab muscles.
You'll also want to ensure your body gets all the nutrients you need to repair and grow your muscles. Protein plays a crucial role, and you can stay topped up and build lean muscle with the best protein powders for weight loss.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor 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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