You can do a lot in 10 minutes.You can clean out the fridge, check your email, Or – our favorite – a quick workout.According to research, just 10 minutes of exercise can provide some major physical and mental benefits, and this week’s Coach of the Month Gives you a fast core set that will build your muscles in less time than it takes to clear your inbox.
Brought to us by Form Fitness founder Morit Summers, it’s the perfect routine to squeeze in whenever you have a few minutes to spare, so you feel accomplished before starting the rest of your day. The best part? It’s only five movements — all of which can be done with or without weights, and none of them feel like you’re working your core.
This first step is to wake up your muscles and prepare your body for the rest of your routine. “It may look like a lower body exercise, but it’s really a core stabilization exercise,” Summers said. Note that in order to get the full benefit, you need to focus on supporting your abs as you march.
With weights at your sides (or arms at your sides if you’re not using them), lift one knee over your hips one at a time – kind of like a standing crunch – take care that your hips and feet don’t The sides of the body are moving too far. Want to take things up a notch? Raise the dumbbells to your shoulders, or for an extra challenge, lift them overhead.
2. Alternate halos
This exercise forces you to use your core to keep your body still as you rotate the dumbbells around your head. Grab a weight with one hand at either end (or, if you’re not using weights, just hold your hands together) and rotate it around your head to create a “halo”. Remember not to arch your back while doing this exercise – it’s all about the core!
3. Weight-bearing crunches
Take your standard crunches to the next level by adding weights. Lying on the ground, you can choose to bend your legs (this is the most challenging move) or keep your legs straight (slightly easier). Once you find the most comfortable position, place the weight on the floor above your head and lift it to the sky, pulling your body as you walk. Of course, you can skip the weights and just do a regular sit-up, but keep in mind, “A lot of people have a hard time doing crunches, but sometimes the weights do help,” says Summers.
4. Flat Shoulder Faucet
Begin on a high plank with your core engaged and forming a straight line from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, alternating each hand on the opposite shoulder. Depending on how you feel, you can do this on your toes or knees – just make sure to focus on keeping your core active so your body stays still (and your hips don’t sway side to side!).
5. Lower the legs
This final step will hit those hard-to-reach low abs. Start by lying on the ground with your legs raised toward the ceiling at a 90-degree angle to your upper body (if keeping your legs straight is too difficult, you can bend your knees to make the exercise slightly easier). Use your core to slowly lower your legs to the ground, stop before they touch the floor, and start over by lifting them up with your core.