There are four abdominal muscles, which wrap around the front and sides of your body making up part of your core. They flex and rotate your trunk and this workout allows you to work all your abdominal muscles in only 7 minutes.
You don’t need to make your abs the focus of your strength-training routine, but you shouldn’t ignore them either. There are many benefits to working your midsection that have nothing to do with aesthetics. Strengthening these muscles can help prevent back pain and injuries. In fact, strengthening your core muscles might help prevent overall injury rates, according to a 2018 study published in Europe PMC.
In the study, planks and side plank were found to be potentially beneficial for lowering injury rates. In other words, you shouldn’t ignore your core. If you’re tired or you just can’t find the time to work your abs, try this 7-minute workout that stimulates all of your abdominal muscles.
YOUR 7-MINUTE BODYWEIGHT CORE WORKOUT
For this workout there are six exercises, which you’ll do for 35 seconds each. Try not to take any breaks, since you only have seven minutes to get a complete workout. You’ll do each exercise in order, then repeat the entire circuit again to complete the workout.
This exercise keeps things interesting while you hold the plank position. Adding a twisting motion works your oblique muscles on the sides of your trunk.
The move: Start in a plank position with your forearms and elbows on the ground. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
From this position, you’ll twist your hips to the left until your hip bone touches the ground. Then, return to the plank position and twist to the right. Continue to alternate sides for the full 35 seconds.
Situps are an old-school abdominal exercise that helps strengthen the core. You can use a pair of dumbbells to hold your feet down as you do this exercise. The extra leverage can help you get more reps.
The move: Lie on your back on the ground. Plant your feet so your knees are bent. Cross your arms in front of your chest (or make it harder by putting your hands behind your head). Keeping your feet flat on the ground, roll your shoulders up until you’re sitting upright. Then, slowly lower yourself back down to the ground.
You can use this movement as a rehab exercise for lower back pain because it helps you stabilize your spine while you move your limbs. Go slow, focusing on control over speed.
The move: Lie on your back on the ground. Reach your arms up straight toward the ceiling, and lift your legs into the air with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Simultaneously reach your right arm straight back and your left leg out straight. Keep your lower back pressed into the ground as you move. After you reach all the way out, pull your limbs back to the start position and repeat on the other side.
You can use the inchworm as a hamstring stretch or a core movement. It requires control and stability from your ab muscles. Try to move by flexing your ab muscles during this exercise.
The move: Start in a pushup position on the ground. Walk your feet up toward your hands, as close as you can. Keep your hands on the ground. When you can’t go any further with your feet, walk your hands out until you’re back in the pushup position. Then, repeat the movement by walking your feet forward again.
By incorporating a twisting movement into this exercise, you’ll work the oblique muscles. It’s beneficial to incorporate rotational exercises in your abdominal workouts to target these muscles.
The move: Lie on your back on the ground. Put your hands behind your head with your elbows flared out to the sides. Lift your legs off the ground but keep your knees straight. Bend your left leg and bring your knee toward your right elbow. Twist your shoulders to get them to touch. Then, reset and twist with the other side.
SIDE PLANK WITH HIP DROP
The front plank works the front of your core, but you need to strengthen the sides as well. That’s why it’s important to incorporate some form of side plank movement into your core workout. Adding a hip drop to the side plank just adds another level of intensity
The move: Start in a side plank position on your right side. Your right forearm is on the ground with your elbow directly under your right shoulder. Stack your feet on top of each other. Lift your hips off the ground so your body forms a straight line.
From this position, you’ll lower your hips down toward the ground until you touch. Then, lift your hips up as high as you possibly can. Continue on the same side for the full 35 seconds. On the next round, do the exercise on the other side.