10-minute Ab Workouts to Tighten Your Core Muscles

Doing the same workout every day gets boring. Even worse, it probably isn’t helping you achieve your fitness goals.  California Family Fitness’ personal trainer Gina Cargile shares some core exercises you can easily incorporate into a 10-minute routine whenever you want to switch things up. All you need is a mat and 10-15 minutes a day. Try mixing the order in which you do these ab crunches and be sure to include modifications if you have injuries.

Talk to one of our certified personal trainers for more info on exercise intensity and suitable activities. 



Cross-leg Crunch  

Lie back and cross your right foot over your left knee. Put your left hand behind your head, and your right arm extended to the side. With each crunch, touch your elbow to your knee and follow the sequence below on each side.

Mind-Body Tips

● Inhale as you come down, exhale as you come up

● It’s OK if you can’t reach your elbow to your knee, go as far as you can with good form

● When you crunch, push the small of your back into the mat. With any ab workout, it’s all about the contraction

● Concentrate on leaving space between your chin and your chest so you aren’t pulling on your neck



● 14X full crunch, elbow to knee

● 4X half way crunch

● 4X full crunch, elbow to knee

● 4X half way crunch

● 4X full crunch, elbow to knee

● On the last crunch, hold and pulse four times, then release. 


Ab exercises core training


 Hollow Body Rock

Sit back with your knees bent over your chest. Place your hands behind your knees and rock forward and backward with knees bent at all times, using your core muscles (and not momentum)

Mind-Body Tips

Roll down each vertebrae one at a time using your arms for support

● For added intensity, try it with straight legs and arms to add more weight


As many reps as you can at a steady pace for 30 seconds 



 Dead Bug

Lay on your back with your feet to the ceiling and palms down at your side with fingertips extended. Drive your heels up, lifting your lower body an inch, and controlling the motion down. For a second set, push your feet to the right at the top of the lift, and alternate sides slowly. 

Mind-Body Tips

● Focus on driving your heels straight up to the ceiling as you press; this engages your lower abdominals, which are hard to target

● For added difficulty, lift higher as you push up

● Twisting motions add some oblique work into the exercise


● 20X legs straight up

● 12X angled lift, alternating sides Heel taps Lay on your back with knees bent, and your arms by your side with palms down

●Raise your shoulder blades off the floor and bring your right fingers to your right heel, then do the same on the left side  



Heel Tap

Lie back with knees ben, and your arms by your sides with palms down. Raise your shoulder blades off the floor and bring your right fingers to your right heel, then repeat on the left side.

Mind-Body Tips

It’s important that shoulder blades stay off the mat to engage your core and obliques

● You should feel the burn right away

● If you feel strain in your neck, use one of your hands to support your head.


Alternate sides for 30 seconds 


Core training exercises



Lay on your back with your knees bent and arms straight above your head. Extend left leg up. On your exhale, roll your upper back off the mat and reach past the left left leg with both arms extended, then relese back and switch sides.    

Mind-Body Tips

● Power on the way up and control the motion on the way down

● Control the down movement by using a 1-2 count: one count up, two counts down

● If alternating legs feels too easy, increase the difficulty by lifting both legs toward your arms at the same time, into a V-position


● 20X either alternating legs or both legs at the same time

● Finally, hold the last V-up for 10 seconds ad repeat if needed.

 Need a visual example? Follow along to this video to check your form.