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Change it up with this class 15-minute abs workout

I’m all about that core.

Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO excuse for anyone who gets bored of the ‘same ol’ core routine’ because there are countless variations of exercises, and new techniques are still being discovered to work the ab muscles.

For this workout – which we advise doing at the beginning of your session, we’re going to give you four exercises.

They are as follows; swiss-ball pikes, weighted decline crunches, air bike and mountain climbers.

The reason we’ve gone for these four is because they’re quite different from one another – though they work pretty much the same muscle groups. (Rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques).

The way the 15 minutes is broken down is we’ll do Swiss-ball pikes and mountain climbers for seven minutes without a rest. Then we’ll take a one minute break and work straight through the remaining seven minutes doing the weighted decline crunches and the air bike to finish.

Okay, let’s rock.

Swiss-ball pikes

Source: Performance U/YouTube

Starting position: Get into a press-up position and rest your shins on the top of the Swiss ball. Maintain a straight line through ankles, knees, hips and shoulders.

Action: Bring your knees towards your chest, rolling the ball forward. As you bring the ball forward lift your bum towards the ceiling or as high as you can so your arms and legs are at a 45-degree angle to one another.

Hold at the top of the movement and release back to the starting position.

Three sets of 10 in three minutes should be manageable.

Mountain climbers

Source: Flex Marks/YouTube

Starting position Back into the press up position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Bring your stomach up so you are starting in a plank position. Brace your core muscles.

Action: Now bring your knees up so they touch – or go as close as possible – to your elbows. Left knee to left elbow and vice versa. As you progress, try to bring left knee to right elbow. And as you progress some more, speed up the movement.

Try for 4 sets of 50 in four minutes.

Take a one-minute rest…

Weighted decline crunches

Source: wellness4one/YouTube

Starting position Set the bench so it’s just slightly declined. Lock your legs in place and slowly lower yourself backwards until your shoulders rest on the bench. Get used to the movement before you decline any more than this.

The key is to keep your back strong, resisting the urge to curve it, and keep your core tight. Take a light dumbbell or weight from the squat rack and hold it firmly against your chest.

Action: SLOWLY lift up, looking straight up towards the ceiling. Keep your back straight and reach the top of the movement – the point where you cannot go any more. If you feel this is too easy, lift the weight overhead and return to chest. Then slowly lower yourself back down.

You can get as good a workout from coming up as lowering yourself back to the starting position.

Do this in three sets of 15 for three minutes.

Air bike

Starting position Lying on your back, extend one leg and flex the other so it’s parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your head.

Action In one movement lift your shoulders off the floor and reach towards the opposite knee. The lower the legs the harder the exercise becomes. Exhale as you switch legs.

Aim for three sets of 50 in four minutes.

That’s your 15 minute ab workout.

Originally published at 9.47

Training techniques are constantly evolving but this one has stood the test of time

Do you want a six pack? These four exercises can help you get rock hard abs

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About the author:

Brian Canty

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