Forget sit-ups — build core strength and improve your posture with this 10-minute abs workout

a woman doing a bicycle crunch
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re bored of sit-ups and looking for a new way to train your mid-section, this short bodyweight abs workout is an ideal choice — and all you need is 10 minutes and a bit of space to strengthen your core, boost your balance, and improve your posture.

As you’ll be exercising on the floor, rolling out a yoga mat can make things a bit more comfortable and the improved grip can help you focus on your technique (so that you’re not sliding along the floor) to get the best results. But it’s not essential if you don’t have a mat to hand.

This 10-minute daily abs workout, developed by fitness duo Tiff x Dan, contains plenty of core-strengthening exercises designed to work your mid-body muscles without a sit-up in sight. Instead, you’ll take on several crunch variations, planks, and compound exercises.

To pack all of this into a 10-minute session, you’ll do each exercise for 50 seconds, take a 10-second break, and then start on the next move. It’s a high-intensity way to train, but if you find that your form begins to slip, increase the rest periods and gradually reduce them over time.

If you’re new to ab workouts or could use a refresher, Dan demonstrates each move and does the routine alongside you, so you can practice your technique as you go, or pause the video to perfect your form before doing the 10-move circuit.

Watch Tiff x Dan’s 10-minute abs workout

The duo notes that this is a daily routine — so don’t expect to walk away from your first 10-minute session with a six-pack. However, by incorporating these moves into your workouts, you can strengthen the muscles around your stomach and notice the results in everyday life.

Your core — a collection of mid-body muscles around your stomach — is responsible for your balance, posture, and stability, so building muscle in this area will make daily activities like walking, reaching for items on a high shelf, or picking up groceries easier.

You’ll also notice that people use the terms abs and core interchangeably, but there are some important differences. Your abdominals — which include the rectus abdominis six-pack abs muscle — form part of your core, a larger group of muscles around your torso.

So, strengthening your abs will also develop your core, but you’ll need to take on a dedicated core workout if you want to build muscle more comprehensively in this area. But even if you focus on your abs, it’s worth remembering that endless crunches won’t develop visible muscle.

To do that, you’ll also need to reduce the amount of fat around your stomach. However, since you can’t spot-reduce fat, it’s worth adding high-intensity workouts to your routine to boost your metabolism too. Fortunately, Tiff x Dan’s routine is already arranged in this way.

This session is arranged as a high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) workout, where you exercise intensely in short bursts with minimal rest. This increases your heart rate, burning more energy than during an equivalent steady-paced session.

Sustaining this high heart rate by only taking a few seconds to break between moves also has longer-term effects, like boosting your metabolism, and the amount of energy you burn throughout the day.

Sustaining this high heart rate by only taking a few seconds to break between moves also has longer-term effects, like boosting your metabolism, and the amount of energy you burn throughout the day. Arranging like this can be an efficient way to train when you’re short on time.

If you’re new to this type of training, Tiff x Dan’s session can be a great way to test the waters. You can do the 10-minute circuit initially, repeat the 10 moves as you get used to the exercise style, and eventually incorporate HIRT into your other strength training workouts.

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James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is Tom's Guide's Fitness Editor, covering strength training workouts, cardio exercise, and accessible ways to improve your health and wellbeing.

His interest in fitness started after being diagnosed with a chronic illness, and he began focusing on strengthening his core, taking regular walks around the city, and practicing meditation to manage the symptoms. He also invested in fitness trackers, home workout equipment, and yoga mats to find accessible ways to train without the gym.

Before joining the team at Tom’s Guide, James was the Fitness Editor at Fit&Well, where he covered beginner-friendly exercise routines, affordable ways to boost your wellbeing, and reviewed weights, rowing machines, and workout headphones.

He believes that exercise should be something you enjoy doing, so appreciates the challenge of finding ways to incorporate it into everyday life through short muscle-building sessions, regular meditation, and early morning walks.