The Ultimate 10 Minute Abs Workout Routine for an Insanely Strong Core

The Ultimate 10 Minute Abs Workout Routine for an Insanely Strong Core


Is it possible to use “best” and “abs workout routine” in the same sentence?

Why yes, it is, and I just did it. BOOM.

If you try this abs workout routine, you’ll know why though.

But, what makes a good workout? Why is one abs workout routine better than another?

The answer: keep reading, and you’ll find out! 🙂


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The Ultimate 10 Minute Abs Workout Routine

These ab exercise moves can be done in 10 minutes flat.

Abs Workout Routine Instructions:

  • First, warm up. This is important – your muscles need to be warm to avoid injury! Warm-up ideas: A light 5-10 minute jog or elliptical, or 5 minutes of dynamic stretches.
  • Then do each move for 30 seconds, 3 times (3 sets of each move)
  • Rest for a few seconds in between moves, and 30 seconds in between sets
    • 5 ab exercises X 3 sets each X 30 seconds per set = 7.5 Minutes
    • Plus 30 seconds in between each set = 2.5 minutes
    • Plus a few seconds in between moves – 1 minute

Focus on form and slow motion, don’t fly through these carelessly. Proper form is SO important here.


Sit Ups

Abs Workout Routine - Sit Ups


How to do Sit Ups: Lay down on a mat or rug with your knees bent at about a 90 degree angle. Cross your arms comfortably across your chest, or lightly place you hands behind your ears (no pulling on your neck! ever!). Engage your ab muscles, and lift your torso off the ground towards your knees while maintaining a flat back and proper form.

Remember, slow, controlled motions help you get the most out of this move (and all ab moves).



Abs Workout Routine - Crunch


How to Do Crunches: Get into the same starting position as the sit up move. Lightly place your hands behind your head (again, I can’ t stress this enough – do not pull on your head, it’s terrible for your neck). Now, engage your abs and “tuck” your pelvis towards the ground, and lift just your shoulders and upper back off the ground. Then slowly return your whole back to the ground. Repeat.

This works a lot of ab muscles, but your lower abs get an especially strong workout with this move.


Bicycle Crunches

Abs Workout Routine - Bicycle Crunches
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How to Do Bicycle Crunches: Lay on your back, with your legs flat on the ground, and hands lightly behind your head.  Step 1: lift your left knee up towards your head while simultaneously moving your right elbow towards your left knee (image 1 above). If you can’t touch your knee with your elbow, that’s fine. Step 2: slowly lower the left leg while pulling the right knee up, and the left elbow to the right knee. That is 1 full bicycle crunch. Flow from left to right until the time is up.

Make sure you engage your core (the obliques will feel the burn!).


Lying Leg Raise

Abs Workout Routine - Lying Leg Raises
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How to Do a Lying Leg Raise: The picture above says it all. Lay flat on your back with your hands on the ground at your sides for stability. Try not to use your arms for leverage while lifting your legs up…instead, engage your ab muscles and slowly lift your legs up off the ground until your feet are above your hips, then slowly lower. Try not to let your feet touch the ground in between moves (it keeps your abs engaged and works them better if they have to stop the feet from touching and resting on the ground).



Russian Twist

Abs Workout Routine - Russian Twists
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How to Do Russian Twists: Again, the image explains this move well. Start by sitting with your feet on the ground in front of you and knees at about a 90 degree angle. Slowly lift you feet off the ground (about 6-12 inches), engage your core, and lean back a little. Put your hands together out in front of you and slowly move your hands and upper body to the right. Then, slowly move them to center and then to the left. This is one full Russian twist. This one will burn nicely!

Tip: sit on something soft like a mat or towel so your butt bones aren’t directly on the ground while doing this move. 

Bonus Tip: Make this move even more challenging by holding a kettlebell (or something with weight).


Ok, there’s your 10-minute abs workout routine! Do this as a standalone workout (if you are strapped for time) or integrate it as the abs portion of a fuller workout.

Get ready for strong, impressive abs if you do this workout 2-4 times a week!


Why Do an Abs Workout Routine, Anyway?

Abs workout routine - why do abs

Before starting any workout routine, it’s good to think about your goals.

Why are you interested in an abs workout routine?

Some major reasons people embark on the abs journey are to:

  • Define your abs – get a 4-pack or 6-pack and look fabulous at the beach
  • Get stronger – a strong core improves posture, exercise form (running, yoga, etc)
  • Rehab an injury – I’m no doctor, so please consult a professional if this is your situation
  • Win a betKidding, but I mean, it’s happened to all of us…you accept a challenge after a beer or two and POOF, suddenly you’re smack dab in the middle of a 30 Day Abs Challenge or something…

It’s important to determine your reason for exercising certain muscles in order to find the right abs workout routine to best fit your goal.

For example, your approach to rehab-ing an injury might look different than what you’d do to define abs for visual appeal.


Ab Muscles, Defined (Get it?)

I’m a visual person, so seeing images of muscle groups helps me better understand the exercises.

You too?


Here is a chart with the major abdominal muscles:

Abs Workout Routine - Abs image
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This image conveniently chunks the ab muscles into 3 major areas. Let’s define them more below (HA. I’m a sucker for a pun, even a bad one…sorry).


Area 1: Rectus Abdominis (Upper, Middle and Lower Abs)

These are the muscles most people think of when they hear “abs”.

You know that impressive 6 pack you see on some men and women? The rectis abdominis muscles are to thank for those.

These muscles are the most visible of all the ab muscles.


Area 2: Obliques (Internal and External)

These are the muscles that run down both sides of your core vertically.

Twisting and moving your core up and down engages these muscles.


Area 3: Transverse Abdominis

Most people don’t think much about this muscle set because it’s the deepest and underneath stuff.

As the image says, these muscles wrap around your core to provide strength, stability and support.



The Benefits of Ab Workouts and Strong Abs

Abs Workout Routine - Benefits

No matter what your reason is for doing an abs workout routine, there are tons of benefits!


Strong Core: Improve posture, reduce the risk of injuries during other exercises, and feel more stable with a strong core.

Increased Fitness Level: Doing any exercise, consistently, increases your fitness level, and abs are no exception. Strong abs are especially helpful if you do other forms of exercise.

Mental Health: Increase blood flow, improve your mood and get some endorphins flowing by exercising your abs.

Confidence: New abs, new confidence level. Hold your head high and show off your hard-earned abs muscles with pride.


These are by no means the only benefits, but they’re my favorite!


Body Fat and Abs: A Quick Note

Abs Workout Routine - Body Fat

Now, I don’t want to state the obvious, but…if your goal is to have defined abs, you also need to consider body fat percentage.

Body fat percentage is the % of your weight that is body fat.

So if you have a high percentage of your weight that is fat…your beautiful abs may never be seen, because a layer of fat is covering them. Even if you work insanely hard doing your abs workout routine.

And unfortunately, abs exercises do not generally reduce fat, they just work to build and define muscle.

To reduce fat, you need to burn more calories than you take in each day – whether through ‘diet’, cardio exercise, or (preferably), a combination of both. *Diet is in quotes because ‘diet’ can refer to food choices and not strictly mean “going on a restrictive diet”, which is an important differentiation to me. Healthy, nutritious food choices can result in weight loss without the feeling of a strict “diet”.

Men are different than women, but the chart below shows a rough approximation of what abs look like in each body fat percentage range (on a man).


Body Fat Percentage Picture
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Body fat percentage is broken up into a few ranges to help you identify where you are now, and where you want to be soon:

  • Underfat or Essential
  • Athletic
  • Fit
  • Healthy
  • Overfat
  • Obese

I like this Body Fat Chart because it easily shows the ranges and the difference between Men and Women, and the affect Age has on body fat percentages.


Image credit:


So in summary here, I heed you this warning: doing an abs workout routine is awesome, and no matter what, you will get fitter and stronger… BUT….set your expectations for visible abs if your body fat percentage is in the “healthy”, “overfat”, or “obese” range.

Want to lose weight to show off those gorgeous abs? Try Running for Weight Loss if you want to add cardio to your weekly routine and lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.


Gear & Preparation to Do Ab Exercises

Ok, there’s not much preparation you need to do (yay!)…however, we recommend finding a soft floor to do the exercises (or your butt and back will hate you the next day).

Don’t have a soft carpeted floor available?

Grab an extra thick exercise mat. We like this All Purpose Extra Dense Exercise Mat for $17.95 (no need to buy a super expensive mat, trust us).

Abs Workout Routine - Exercise Mat


Alright, you’re totally equipped to get a killer abs workout done in 10 minutes!


Ready For Other Strength Exercises?

14 Quick Bodyweight Exercises for Busy People

Strength Training: 8 Easy Moves for Beginners (for runners, or anyone)


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10-Minute Abs Workout Routine for Stronger Abs!

10-Minute Abs Workout Routine: strengthen your abs in no time at all with these simple moves. #abs #abworkout #absroutine

A 10-Minute abs workout routine for men and women. Easily fit this into your schedule to get strong, defined abs!

10-Minute abs workout routine you can easily fit into your daily life. Get defined, strong abs!

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