7 Minute Ab Workout (Get a Toned Core in Record Time)

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: March 11, 2024
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As a fitness professional, I am frequently asked whether short-core workouts can provide noticeable results.

The answer is yes. That is why I teamed up with our in-house exercise physiologist to create a 7-minute ab workout that will leave you with a strong, defined core.

We focused on anti-movement exercises, which are incredibly effective for strengthening your core muscles. But we also added a bit of dynamic movement to challenge your abs.

Quick Summary

  • The 7-minute ab workout includes six exercises: dead bugs, side planks, inchworm walkouts, bridge holds, bicycle crunches, and mountain climbers.
  • A 7-minute ab workout typically focuses on efficiently strengthening and defining core muscles through a series of intense, targeted exercises.
  • The 7-minute ab training program alternates between 30 seconds of high-intensity movement and 10 seconds of rest.
  • In my opinion, incorporating a quick, focused ab workout into a daily routine can be a practical and time-efficient way to enhance core strength and improve overall fitness.

7-Minute Abs Workout Routine

Woman performing a seven minute ab workout routine

I recommend performing two rounds of the following core exercises to maximize their benefits:

Do as many reps of each exercise for 30 seconds each. Rest for ten minutes between workouts to allow for proper recovery.

1. Dead bug

How to do this exercise:

  1. Lay on the back and bring your arms above your head, perpendicular to the ground. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Slowly lower your left arm and extend the right leg, stopping just before touching the ground.
  3. Bring your leg and arms back to return to your starting position. Keep your core tight throughout the motion.
  4. Continue alternating arms and legs for 30 seconds.

2. Side Plank

Doing a side plank for abs workout

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Lie on the side with your forearm supporting your body.
  2. Hold your body in a straight line.
  3. Put your elbow under your shoulder and keep your arm at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Put pressure on your wrist and elbow instead of your shoulders, and keep your chest open.
  5. Slowly lower back down.
  6. Repeat for 30 seconds.

3. Inchworm Walkout

How to do this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend over, keeping your legs extended, while placing your hands on the ground.
  3. Walk your hands forward while keeping your abs contracted until your body forms a straight line.
  4. Repeat for thirty seconds.

4. Bridge Hold

Woman doing bridge hold

How to do this exercise:

  1. Lay on the back with your legs bent and your feet flat.
  2. Place your hands on the floor beside you.
  3. Drive through your heels, extending your body off the floor.
  4. Hold a second while squeezing your abs, then lower your body to return to the starting position.
  5. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.

5. Bicycle Crunch

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Lay on your back.
  2. Bring both knees up, flex your spine, and take your hands behind your head.
  3. Bring your right knee as you bring your left elbow towards it.
  4. Continue on the other side.
  5. Repeat for 30 seconds.

6. Mountain Climbers

Doing the mountain climbers exercise

How to do this exercise:

  1. Get into a high plank position, forming a straight line from your head to your glutes.
  2. Place your wrists right below your shoulders.
  3. Pull your right knee to your chest and bring it back. Keep your arms straight and your core engaged throughout this movement.
  4. Switch to the left knee and continue to alternate for 30 seconds.

“You should do a light warmup before diving into the 7-minute workout. This will help lower your risk of injury by preparing your muscles and joints for the workout ahead.”

- Katey Davidson, Registered Dietitian

What Are the Pros of the 7-Minute Ab Workout?

By combining aerobic and resistance training exercises using body weight, this workout will allow you to:

  • Promote weight loss - According to ResearchGate, using multiple large muscles with little rest between sets increases catecholamines and growth hormone levels in the blood, boosting the metabolic rate [1].
  • Reduce insulin resistance - The HICT method used in our 7-minute ab exercise can also reduce insulin resistance, reducing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Increase core strength - While the 7-minute ab workout can reduce your body and belly fat, according to ResearchGate, it may be less effective in increasing strength and power [2].

Related post: 30 Minute Ab Workout: Sculpt Your Abs with These Exercises

Nutritional Tips to Complement Ab Workouts

To enhance ab workout results, focus on a diet rich in protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth.

  • Include lean meats, fish, eggs, and plant-based sources like beans and tofu.
  • Prioritize fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to aid digestion and reduce bloating, enhancing abdominal definition.
  • Hydration is key; drink plenty of water to support metabolism and muscle function.
  • Moderate your intake of processed foods and sugars, which can lead to excess fat accumulation around the midsection.
  • Incorporating healthy fats from avocados, nuts, and olive oil can aid in nutrient absorption and provide sustained energy for workouts.

FAQs

What Are the Most Effective Ab Exercises?

The most effective ab exercises are bicycle crunches, mountain climbers, bridge holds, inchworm walkouts, side planks, sit-ups, pallof presses, hanging knee raises, and dead bugs.

Is 7 Minutes Enough for Ab Workout?

Yes, 7 minutes ab workout is enough for you. Remember that the workout’s effectiveness doesn’t solely rely on the duration. The key to a successful ab workout in such a short time lies in the exercise selection and intensity.


References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288725702_High-intensity_circuit_training_using_body_weight_Maximum_results_with_minimal_investment
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232097690_Impact_of_Nutritional_Supplements_and_Resistance_Training_on_Body_Composition_Strength_and_Insulin-like_Growth_Factor_-1
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About The Author

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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