When you want to get a workout in but you don’t have much gear or time at hand, it helps to know exactly what to do to make the most of your limited resources.
In a new video, Athlean-X founder Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. demonstrates a simple but intense ab workout which takes just 10 minutes to complete and requires no equipment other than a map and some space on your floor. The routine consists of seven exercises, each of which is performed for a duration of 60 seconds, with 30 seconds of rest in between.
As opposed to a leg raise, which frequently relies on the hip flexors to lift the lower body, this move focuses on lifting the pelvis, using the core muscles. “Your goal is to simply get your pelvis up off the mat every single repetition,” says Cavaliere. Focus on making clockwise circles with your feet for 30 seconds, then switch to counter-clockwise for the next 30 seconds.
This situp variation involves pressing the soles of your feet firmly together, rather than anchoring them under an object. “You should instantly feel your hamstrings light up,” he says. “With your hamstrings activated, your hip flexors are going to take a little bit of a nap here, and make your abs do all the work.”
The Russian twist is a pretty popular ab exercise, but this variation (which targets the obliques) requires you to rotate your upper body from side to side in a rowboat motion, instead of simply tapping your arms from side to side. “You’ll feel the difference immediately,” says Cavaliere, “and when you do, you’ll know you’re doing it the right way.”
Thread the Needle
This dynamic side-plank exercise mimics the motion of a dumbbell side bend. “Lift up, keep your arm up into the air, then add that third dimension by reaching through and creating some rotation that your body and core has to control,” says Cavaliere. Do this for 30 seconds on each side.
Black Widow Knee Slide
This move is an evolution of the plank and mountain climber which also works the posterior chain. “Simply drive one knee towards the elbow, pull up into a posterior tilt to really activate the abs, and then don’t forget that posterior chain, kick the leg back and extend the hip all the way up to the ceiling,” he explains. “Come back down, and alternate.”
“Instead of pulling your knees straight in, which is going to create more of that hip flexor dominance, bring them out to the side,” says Cavaliere. Doing this on a hardwood floor in socks (or any surface which allows that sliding motion) works the hips’ external rotators instead of the flexors.
Sliding Ab Tuck
Using the same sliding floor principle as the previous move, start in the upper position of a pushup, then hinge your waist upwards into downward dog, and resist the urge to bend your knees as you slide your feet up. “Finish strong, keep those legs straight, make your abs do the work.”
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