You only need 10 minutes to develop ab muscle with this no-equipment workout

10 exercises you need to train your abs, obliques and core in just 10 minutes

Woman completes an ab workout on the floor
(Image credit: Getty)

There’s no need to endure long sessions of crunches and sit-ups when trying to carve some definition across your abdominal muscles. You can save time and make your life a lot simpler by adding short and effective circuits to the end of a full-body workout, whether that be at home or at the gym. Try this no-equipment workout and train your abs and obliques in just 10 minutes.

The best workouts for abs are all low-maintenance, meaning you can pretty much complete them anywhere. As long as your back and butt feel comfortable and supported enough, for example with one of the best yoga mats or blankets underneath you, then you’re good to start training your core and abdominal muscles. 

This quick and efficient abs session comes from bodybuilder and certified personal trainer, Rowan Ro (opens in new tab). You’ll fit 10 different ab targeting exercises into 10 minutes including moves that will engage your oblique muscles.

The format is pretty simple to follow, you’ll work on each move for 45 seconds, take 15 seconds rest, then move on to the next exercise. You will start to feel a burn but this is a good sign that you're performing the exercises with proper form and if not just watch Ro to see how he completes each move.

Your obliques make up two out of three layers that form your abdominal walls, the third being the transverse abdominis muscle. You have internal and external obliques which move in different directions but work in tandem to allow you to rotate and bend your torso. 

The external oblique muscles sit on the top layer of the abdomen just below the subcutaneous fat (fat right under the skin) and skin. So if you’re looking to tone the sides of your midsection as well as your abs Ro’s workout will help engage this area of muscle.

The 10 exercises are listed below for you to complete whenever you have a spare 10 minutes. If you fancy an extra challenge after this ab session feel free to add one of the best ab rollers to the end of your workout. Not only does an ab roller work your abs but also trains your hip flexor muscles.

  • Star crunches 
  • Basic crunch 
  • Bicycle kicks 
  • Reverse crunch 
  • Heel taps 
  • Leg pushes 
  • Side to side mountain climbers 
  • Leg scissors 
  • Alternate L-sit toe touches 
  • Curl up 

Your abs and obliques form a part of your core. The core accounts for all muscles in the abdomen, pelvis, lower back, and hips and is what stabilizes and supports your body. The stronger this muscle group is the easier everyday tasks is, the more independent you can live when older and trailer, and the stronger you will feel in other sports such as running.

According to a review paper published in the Orthopedic Research Online Journal (opens in new tab), there is consistent evidence behind the effectiveness of daily core strength exercises on creating better balance, independence, and quality of life among older adults.

Jessica Downey
Jessica Downey

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. 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.