I tried this Sami Clarke ab workout with 9 million views — here's what happened

a photo of sami clarke doing a crunch
(Image credit: Sami Clarke)

Celebrity personal trainer Sami Clark has amassed a huge following on social media, where she shares her workouts, nutrition tips, and mindset advice to help you meet all your wellness goals. So on one sunny Monday morning, I tapped into one of her YouTube workouts for a quick 10-minute workout to start my day. Read on to find out what happened. 

The 10-minute ab workout has been viewed over 9 million times on YouTube, and it’s easy to see why — this equipment-free workout can be done from just about anywhere, and only requires your body weight, and an exercise mat (I use a yoga mat for my home workouts, and have hand-picked the best yoga mats here). It’s suitable for beginners, although you might need to press pause between the exercises, and can be repeated twice through if you’re feeling brave. 

What is the Sami Clarke ab workout? 

Sami Clarke’s 10-minute ab workout is a series of abdominal exercises, each of which you perform for 30 seconds. A couple of exercises are repeated twice in the workout, and a large proportion of the workout is done lying on the floor. The entire workout is low-impact, and well suited for beginners, although if you suffer from lower back pain, or you’re currently injured, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor or physio before trying this workout. 

Unlike other YouTube workouts out there, there’s no chatting through form, or reps, so you can play the video on mute and just follow along visually. Prefer to read the workout first? Here’s what happens: 

  • 30 seconds crunches  
  • 30 seconds eagle crunch 
  • 30 seconds side to side 
  • 30 seconds alternating leg downs  
  • 30 seconds knee to elbow crunch (right)  
  • 30 seconds knee to elbow crunch (left)  
  • 30 seconds bicycle crunches 
  • 30 seconds heel taps  
  • 30 seconds scissor kicks  
  • 30 seconds extended crunch  
  • 30 seconds toe taps  
  • 30 seconds side plank (right)  
  • 30 seconds side plank with reach (right)  
  • 30 seconds side plank (left)  
  • 30 seconds side plank with reach (left)  
  • 30 seconds tabletop taps  
  • 30 seconds 1, 2, 3 hold crunch  
  • 30 seconds alternating knee to elbow crunch  
  • 30 seconds alternating leg downs  
  • 30 seconds plank  

I tried the Sami Clarke 10-minute ab workout — here’s what happened 

I’ll start by saying I wasn’t expecting this workout to be as much of a core burner as it was. In my job as a fitness editor, I test a lot of workouts to help readers work out which is right for them, so I’m relatively fit, and before the workout, I’d done a 40-minute power walk with my cocker spaniel, so I was well warmed up and ready to go. 

By the time I got to the extended crunches, I had that deep inner core shake that normally hits me at the end of a Pilates class. Clarke pairs the exercises so that you’re really working into all of the different abdominal muscles, and without a break in-between, you work hard. 

As I’ve mentioned in previous workout reviews, I suffer from sciatica following a horse-riding accident as a teen, so I often have to be mindful of my lower back during ab workouts. If you do suffer from lower back pain, it’s important to keep your back pressed into the mat at all times during abdominal exercises, even if this means reducing your range of motion. My legs weren’t as high as Clarke’s were for the scissor kicks, but aside from this, I didn’t have to modify much of the workout. 

Browsing the YouTube comments, a lot of users, like me, found that the quick workout really fired up their core. Others complained that their necks hurt during the workout — if you do find your neck is sore during ab workouts, think about lowering your chin to your chest rather than lifting your neck to the ceiling. Your hands should be resting behind your head, not pulling on your neck. Alternatively, lower your head to the ground during the exercises. 

This workout is a brilliant way to fire up your core before a strength session, or just fit a quick abdominal workout into your day. You can do it from anywhere, and it’s easy to repeat the circuit once more if you’re brave enough to do so. Like all ab workouts, this won’t give you a six-pack overnight and should be paired with good nutrition, cardio, and strength workouts for real results, but if you’re looking for a shaky core and achy abs, this should do it. 

Looking for more workout inspiration? We’ve hand-picked the best ab workouts here, including this Daisy Keech hourglass workout, and this Pamela Reif 6-minute ab workout with 16 million views

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.