You only need four moves and eight minutes to build a stronger core

This equipment-free ab workout builds core strength in less than 10 minutes

Woman performing crunches
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you want to strengthen your core or build visible muscle, there are plenty of reasons to train your abs. When you're short on time or away from the gym, this four-move ab workout is an ideal way to work your core with no equipment required. 

While you can perform kettlebell swings with one of the best kettlebells (opens in new tab) or use one of the best ab rollers (opens in new tab) to strengthen your core, you don't always need equipment to build muscle around your stomach and trunk. 

The best ab workouts (opens in new tab) are a great place to start, but if you're looking for a quick routine you can fit in when you're tight on time, this four-move session from personal trainer Rhiannon Bailey (opens in new tab) is ideal for getting stronger without relying on sit-ups. 

Bailey designed this short routine as a core-focused finisher for your regular workout, but you can do it as a standalone session or repeat the four-move routine several times for an extended equipment-free ab workout. 

You'll do each exercise for 30 seconds without breaks between moves, repeating this four times for an effective eight-minute core-strengthening workout. To get the most from your training, use Bailey's demonstrations to practice your technique before starting. 

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's four-move ab workout

A post shared by Rhiannon Bailey (@rhiannoncbailey) (opens in new tab)

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Although learning how to do a crunch (opens in new tab) is a staple part of many ab-focused workouts, most of this routine is designed around crunch variations to keep things interesting. Bailey also uses the AMRAP workout (opens in new tab) technique to get muscle-building results in a short space of time. 

The aim is to do As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) in the time, which in this case is 30 seconds per move. It's a high-intensity way to train but is perfect for beginners and experienced trainers alike; you get to decide the intensity. 

And if you're new to resistance training, AMRAP routines are a great way to track your progress over time, as you'll be able to do more reps of each move as you get stronger. You might have also heard people use core and abs interchangeably, but there are differences. 

Your core is a section of mid-body muscle that connects your upper and lower body and includes your rectus abdominis six-pack ab muscle. Developing core muscle (opens in new tab) strength helps improve your balance, stability, posture, and circulation. 

If your goal is to develop a visible six-pack, you'll also need to reduce the amount of fat around your stomach. You can't target fat loss in specific areas of the body using certain movements, but you can boost your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn at rest) with a high-intensity HIIT workout for fat loss (opens in new tab)

James Frew
Staff Writer

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer 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.