I tried Daisy Keech’s 8-move, 8-minute abs workout — here’s my verdict

a photo of a woman with abs holding a medicine ball
(Image credit: Getty/Ridofranz)

Daisy Keech's workouts pull in millions of views on her YouTube channel, and this 8-minute abs workout is another massive hit with followers. But as I got to work testing — it’s officially named “Hourglass Abs Part III” — I quickly noticed one thing. I hated it. 

If you haven’t already tried classes from Daisy Keech’s workout library, I recommend having a resistance band or light weights available to increase the intensity. As a personal trainer, I’d heard a lot about the social media sensation and was duly disappointed when I saw what was actually on offer to followers.

Here’s what happened when I rolled out one of the best yoga mats for home workouts and got to work testing Daisy Keech’s ‘Hour Glass Abs Part III’ 8-minute abs workout and why I won’t again any time soon. 

Woman outdoors on a yoga mat performing an ab exercise during ab workout

(Image credit: Getty images)

The workout follows a 40 seconds on, 10 seconds rest pattern, and Keech recommends hitting three rounds, repeating several times a week. You’ll do eight exercises in total, finishing with a plank hold. 

The workout starts with Keech’s light and breezy introductions, then you’ll get straight to work — no equipment needed. Remember to keep your stomach engaged throughout the unsupported moves require an existing degree of core strength to do safely, and if you’re unable to do crunches, consider substituting them out or trying another home workout without them  — this workout uses 4 exercises and 1 dumbbell to sculpt your core

Watch Daisy Keech’s “Hourglass Abs Part III’ video  

Keech has famously said in another video oddly named “Quarantine Abs 8-minute Cinch-Waist Workout,” that she doesn’t train her obliques because she believes it creates a wider ‘boxy’ appearance rather than her much-coveted hourglass figure. She also doesn’t add planks or much twisting work into her routine (sorry, what?), so I was surprised to see both Russian twists and a plank appearing here. 

But anyway, here’s the list of ab exercises you can expect:

Slow sit-ups

Bicycle crunches

Reverse crunches

Boat bent knee heal taps

Russian twists

Toe taps 

Bird dog crunch

Plank (you can also find plank variations here for more options). 

I want to immediately caveat by saying you shouldn’t avoid training your oblique muscles, or any of your core muscles, for that matter; this network is extensive, wrapping around your entire trunk, hugging your spine and including your glutes and hip flexors. 

Strong core muscles are responsible for driving movement, protecting you from injury and providing stability and good posture. And the oblique muscles (they run down your waist from the ribs to the pelvis) function to help you bend and rotate. 

So, I repeat — don’t avoid oblique exercises unless you have reason to — injury, for example. 

I tried Daisy Keech’s 8-move, 8-minute abs workout — here’s why I hated it 

I didn’t get much out of this workout, despite adding a resistance band and light weights to make the exercises harder. Granted, Keech recommends three rounds, but I think I clocked up more boredom than reps in that time, and my abs didn’t feel particularly hard worked afterward.

I wouldn’t call it a terrible ab workout — but it’s not great, either. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel or even attempt to. Keech lazily sequences overused core exercises using a standard ab workout format (40 on, 20 off), and that’s about it. 

It’s worth a reminder that you can’t create an hourglass figure just by doing this workout, but you could add it to your regular exercise routine. Any trainer or social media influencer claiming that ab workouts will ‘cinch your waist’ or ‘blitz stomach fat’ isn’t providing the whole story. 

You also can’t spot-reduce fat; fat loss depends on various factors, including regular exercise, a consistent and nutritional diet, sleep and hormones. According to some research, there’s also a correlation between women who experience high-stress levels and excess abdominal fat storage. So, we’ve got that to contend with too, ladies.

But I’m not alone on this one. We test many workouts at Tom’s Guide, and our fitness writer (and fellow personal trainer) had similar feedback with Keech’s flat stomach workout. It’s not that you can’t enjoy these ab routines, but the bar sits far higher nowadays.

If fat loss is your goal, check out how to calculate body fat percentage and why it matters, and I also recommend adding compound exercises and NEAT to my clients; NEAT refers to daily calories burned outside of sleeping, eating and exercising, like taking the stairs over the elevator or standing up throughout the day, and compound exercises recruit various muscle groups rather than isolating them, like a plank or squat, and provide more bang for your buck. 

Verdict

I accept that I train regularly, so for beginners or those who don’t train core often, this workout could still be challenging. If you relate, keep a close eye on your form and properly engage your stomach so your lower back doesn’t do the hard work. If you experience pain, stop immediately.

For those who train regularly and need more intensity, consider adding equipment or just try elsewhere instead. I recommend a weights workout — like this circuit dumbbell workout — to build lean muscle, strengthen core muscles and keep your metabolism revved.

Will I be adding Daisy Keech to my weekly exercise routine? It’s a firm no from me, but that's not to say others can't enjoy it.

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Sam Hopes
Senior Staff Writer - Fitness

Sam Hopes is a level III fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and senior fitness writer at Future PLC, the publisher of Tom's Guide. She is also about to undertake her Yoga For Athletes training course. Having trained to work with mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and fitness, and their impact on performance. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and building sustainable training methods.  When she's not writing up her experiences with the latest fitness tech and workouts, you’ll find her writing about nutrition, sleep, recovery, and wellness.