You only need eight moves to work your abs and build core strength—here's how

You don't need hours at the gym to strengthen your core, as this personal trainer's eight-move abs routine proves

Man exercising with a resistance band
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A quick search online will bring up dozens of abs-focused workout routines, each promising to strengthen your midsection. But many rely on sit-ups and crunches, which aren't the most exciting moves to do over and over again. 

Adding other core strengthening exercises (opens in new tab) to your training can help improve your performance as your core connects your upper and lower body. It can also help develop stability and even promote circulation. 

If you're looking for a quick core-developing session to add to the end of your next workout, personal trainer Bradley Simmonds' (opens in new tab) eight-move core workout is a great place to start. 

All you need is a bit of space, a yoga or Swiss ball, and several resistance bands. These portable bands are an excellent alternative to weights, and they often come in sets, like you'd find in our roundup of the best resistance bands (opens in new tab)

The aim is to do three sets of each of the eight exercises, focusing on your form throughout. Helpfully, you can practice the technique using Simmonds' demonstrations or this resistance band abs workout (opens in new tab) before you start. 

Watch Bradley Simmonds' eight-move core workout

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Trainers often talk about the benefits of a stronger core, noting how it connects several areas of your body including your lower back, hips, pelvis and abdominal muscles. This is why it's such an essential part of any strength workout. 

However, though people tend to use abs and core interchangeably, there is a difference between abs and core training (opens in new tab). Your abdominals, which include the rectus abdominis six-pack ab muscles, form part of your core. 

So, while developing your abs will help strengthen your core, a dedicated core workout (opens in new tab) will cover all areas of your midsection. 

For many, developing a visible six-pack is a major motivator for tackling abs workouts. However, according to Simmonds, you also need to focus on your diet and reduce your body fat to get there. "Through the right diet.. and a program to follow, anyone can achieve their desired body and have a strong core."

You can't spot-target fat around your stomach, so you'll need to focus on workouts that help you burn fat, like a high-intensity HIIT workout for fat loss (opens in new tab). This keeps your heart rate high and helps boost your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn throughout the day). 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a fitness writer producing news, features, buying guides and reviews for Fit&Well and sister site Coach. She is an avid runner and hill walker, and can often be seen sporting her trusty waist lead as she trains for her next half marathon with her two border collies in tow. Lois has a Master’s in Digital Journalism from Strathclyde University and was previously a senior SEO reporter at Newsquest Media Group.