I tried the Daisy Keech hourglass workout with 10 million views — here's what happened

a photo of Daisy Keech doing bicycle crunches as part of her hourglass workout
(Image credit: YouTube/Daisy Keech)

Looking to spice up your ab routine? Look no further than the Daisy Keech hourglass workout. Trust me, I tried it and can vouch that is a very efficient way to put your abs to the test. You can read all about my experience here.

If you've tried Keech's quarantine abs workout (check out our fitness editor’s results here), you know she means business when it comes to short but snappy workouts. Whether you're at home, in the park, or even on vacation, you can easily squeeze her 10-minute hourglass routine in. The workout involves completing nine exercises for a minute each, no breaks. This approach aims to intensify the burn and engage those abdominal muscles fully.

Keech employs a specific approach in her ab routines by steering clear of exercises that target the obliques, with the aim of avoiding the appearance of a boxier torso. While I don't personally adhere to this rule, as I believe that strengthening the obliques is crucial for achieving a well-rounded and robust core, I decided to stick to her routine from start to finish for the purpose of testing it out.

Keep reading to find out exactly how to do the workout and find out my honest thoughts after completing it.

What is the Daisy Keech hourglass workout? 

If you’d rather follow the workout without YouTube playing, here are the exercises Keech does in her hourglass workout: 

Basic crunches - 1 minute 

First up, crunches. To do a crunch, start by lying on your back, with your lower back flat against the floor. Keech brings her legs up to a tabletop position for the crunches in her workout, with her legs crossed. With your hands on either side of your head, engage your abdominal muscles and crunch your torso up towards your knees. Return to starting position and repeat. 

Bicycle kicks - 1 minute 

To do a bicycle kick, lie on the floor with your back flat against the ground. Place your hands next to your head and raise your shoulders off the ground. Bend your knees and draw your legs up off the ground. Bring the right knee towards your chest as you straighten your left leg, as your right knee comes up, twist your body so your left elbow touches your right knee. Repeat on the other side and make sure your legs and shoulders remain off the ground for the entire exercise. 

Jack knives - 1 minute, 15 per side 

Start by lying on your back. This exercise is similar to a toe touch, but you lower your torso and extend your arms behind your head, keeping your neck off the ground, between each touch. Start by lying on your back. With your arms extended behind your head and your legs out straight a few inches off the floor, engage your abs to lift your arms and legs as if you are trying to touch your toes. Hold, then lower back down to the starting position. 

Russian twists - 1 minute 

To perform this exercise, sit on the floor with your knees bent. Keep your back straight, lean back, and draw your legs up off the ground. Twist to one side — as far as you can go without touching the ground — and then twist to the other side. Here's more on how to do Russian twists

Toe taps - 1 minute 

This is a classic Pilates exercise that works the rectus abdominals and the traverse abdominals. Start with your legs in a tabletop position. Engaging your core and keeping your knee bent, lower your right and tap your toe on the floor. Your left leg should stay in a tabletop position. Reverse the move and repeat on the opposite side. 

Bicycle crunches - 1 minute, 15 per side 

Similar to the bicycle kicks, lying on your back, bend one leg and rest the opposite foot against your knee, so your leg is at a 90-degree angle. Crunch the opposite elbow in to touch the bent knee. Complete 15 repetitions per side, or do 30-seconds on each side. Here's more on how to do bicycle crunches, and the variations to try.

Scissor kicks - 1 minute 

To do scissor kicks, raise your legs up to a 45-degree angle, keeping your lower back pressed flat against the floor. Engaging your core, kick your legs out to the side, switching which leg is on top.  

Reverse crunches - 1 minute 

To do a reverse crunch, lie on your back and put your legs in a tabletop position. Engage your core and breathe in to lift your hips off the floor and your legs back up over your chest. Breathe out as you lower back into your starting position. That's one rep. Find out which celeb also uses reverse crunches to torch her core

Butterfly kicks - 1 minute 

To do butterfly kicks, lie with your back pressed into the floor with your arms by your side. Raise your legs up to the ceiling, then lower them so that they are at a 45-degree angle from the ground. Kick your legs up and down as if you are swimming, keeping this movement small. 

I tried the Daisy Keech hourglass workout — here’s what happened 

I could really feel it in my core

From the get-go, the absence of breaks between the nine moves amplified the burn. It was relentless, but I did love it, as I felt the workout target my deep core muscles.

Beyond the immediate burn and post-workout fatigue, I can see how continuous practice of ab exercises under intensity could really help to improve my core strength. However, just performing this workout day in and day out would not be enough to garner long-term results. Applying progressive overload to your core workouts will help with continuous muscle growth and development. Hence why I’d be tempted to add one of the best kettlebells into this routine if I do it again.

I had to pay attention

Unlike many other workout tutorials on YouTube, this one lacks consistent music playing throughout or any audio cues to let you know when an exercise is over and it’s time to move on to the next move. 

I found myself having to keep a close eye on my phone screen to watch when Keech was finished a move and what the next move was. If you take note of the instructions above or complete the workout enough that you start to remember the order of the routine then this won’t be an issue. But if you’re anything like me and love listening to music while you work out then you might find this ab session a tad unmotivating. 

If you fancy trying out this ab workout, make sure you have another device to link up to your pair of the best workout headphones or speaker to listen to some tunes.

a photo of a woman training her abs

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You can do it anywhere

I opted to try Keech's hourglass ab routine in the comfort of my bedroom at home, especially considering the freezing temperatures where I am right now. The idea of layering up just to make the trek to my local gym for an ab workout wasn't on my agenda this week. 

The beauty of this short, no-equipment workout lies in its simplicity. All you need is to throw on some exercise gear, roll out a workout mat, and dive into that invigorating ab burn. It's the kind of routine that I can envision using when I'm on holiday or in situations where my usual exercise routine isn't feasible, offering a no-nonsense approach to keep my body working.

I wanted some oblique exercises in there!

The Daisy Keech hourglass workout undoubtedly delivered a burn to the abs. However, as I navigated through the exercises, I found myself yearning for the inclusion of moves that also targeted my obliques. Incorporating dedicated oblique exercises could have provided a more comprehensive and well-rounded core workout. By engaging the oblique muscles along the sides of the abdomen, these exercises would not only contribute to a more sculpted and defined midsection but also enhance overall core stability. 

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Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy. 

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