You don’t need weights to strengthen your core—just this 10-minute abs workout

Boost balance, improve posture and increase your metabolism without a dumbbell in sight

Man doing sit-ups on a yoga mat in front of two leafy plants
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sit-ups are a great foundational exercise to work your abs, though you don’t need to spend hours on endless repetitions to strengthen your midsection. Instead, use this equipment-free, no-repeat abs workout to build core muscle in just 10 minutes.

The routine, developed by the fitness duo Juice & Toya, features 10 exercises to target your midsection. You’ll do each one for 45 seconds, take a 15-second break, and then start the next move.

It can be tempting to try and get through as many repetitions as you can in the time, but Juice says that you’re better off “engaging the core and doing everything [with control].” 

The duo demonstrate each exercise below, so you can follow their technique to perfect your form.

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Watch Juice & Toya’s 10-minute abs workout

People often use the terms abs and core interchangeably, but there are differences. Your core is a collection of muscles around your stomach that help link your upper and lower body, promote circulation and improve your balance.

Your abs form part of your core muscle, so training your abs does help build a stronger core. However, Juice & Toya’s routine targets your whole core, not just your abs.

Part of the reason you can get results from a 10-minute workout like this one is the style of exercise: high-intensity resistance training (HIRT). The aim is to train intensely in short bursts with minimal rest to work your muscles hard and increase your heart rate.

It’s similar to a HIIT workout; both interval-style training techniques keep your heart rate high and boost your metabolism, but HIRT has more of a focus on strengthening muscles.

If you’re new to this type of training, you’ll probably feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the next day. To recover, make sure you rest and eat adequate amounts of protein, which will help your muscles rebuild. 

Want to top up your protein levels, without consuming any excess fat or sugar? Have a look at our guide to the best protein powders for weight loss.

Need a new mat to support your practice? Take a look at our guide to the best yoga mats

James Frew
Fitness Editor

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.