Three Bodyweight Moves Are All You Need For An Effective Abs Routine

Woman halfway thought the walking plank movement
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

When I think of things to be thankful for, the fact that abs workouts don’t need to be 30 minutes long is right up there. Not number one, obviously, but easily top 10.

Don’t believe you can train them effectively in that time? Trust the experts. When we quizzed Jess King, trainer at F45 Mill Hill, about core training she said, “I would recommend doing core exercises two to three times per week at the end of a training session. Doing five to 10 minutes of core training with two or three exercises is a great way to finish a workout!”

I’m trying to add more abs and core focused training to my regular routine, so this short workout from certified personal trainer Kira Stokes was perfect to tack on to the end of my lower-body workout.

No equipment is required, although you may notice Stokes is using a cushioned balance pad. It’s called the Kira Kushion and Stokes sells it on her website. However I got on fine with just an exercise mat.

Watch Kira Stokes’s Abs-Strengthening Workout

The first movement—a combination of the walking plank and beast hold—should be done for 60 seconds, while Stokes recommends 30-45 seconds for the sprinter sit-ups and V-sits. Stokes suggests performing the entire circuit through with no rest, repeating three to four times.

Disclaimer: I rested between sets, for 15 seconds at first, then closer to 30 seconds as my abs felt more fatigued. That’s OK, though—I can add this session to my training routine and reduce the rest periods each time I perform it. Once I cut the rest periods I can add an extra five seconds a week to the final two exercises. Doing a workout once is great; repeating it and gradually increasing the difficulty each week is how you get stronger.  

Looking for some more abs-focused routines? Coach has plenty of short sessions. There’s a five-minute abs workout and a 10-minute abs workout, and (almost) splitting the difference is this seven-minute abs workout.

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness writer

Lois Mackenzie is a fitness writer working on news, features, reviews and buying guides for Coach and sister site Fit&Well. Lois is a hill walker and avid runner who has just completed her first marathon. Before joining Coach, Lois worked as a senior SEO reporter at Newsquest Media Group.