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Fitness Articles  ›  SparkPeople Workouts

Printable 15-Minute Abs Workout

Take the Video With You!

-- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor

 

4-Count Crunches

 

10 reps

 

Use the abs to crunch up for 3 counts, and then slowly lower for 1 count.

 

Keep the naval pulled in towards your spine and your feet flat. Think about the shoulder blades lifting off of the mat as you crunch.

 

Exhale as you crunch up and inhale as you lower down.












 

Crunches

 

10 reps

 

Use the abs to crunch up and then slowly lower down.

 

Keep the navel pulled in. You can keep you hands behind the head, crossed at your chest, or reaching down at your sides.

 

Exhale as you crunch up and inhale as you lower down.







Circle Crunches

10 reps

Use the abs and obliques to crunch in a circle—lifting up and left, to the top center, to the right and back down. Circle in the opposite direction to complete 1 rep.

Make your circular movement bigger to add challenge, or smaller to make it easier.

Exhale as you are crunching up and inhale as you lower down.



















Crunches with Sweep

10 reps

Use your abs to crunch up. Sweep your left hand out, reaching towards your ankle. Sweep back to the center (shoulder blades still lifted), replacing that hand behind your head. Slowly lower down. Repeat on opposite side to complete 1 rep.

Exhale as you are crunching up and inhale as you lower down.



















Bicycle Crunches

10 reps slow, 8 reps fast

Use your abs to crunch up, bending your right knee in towards your chest, extending your left leg, and twisting your left shoulder towards the right knee. Switch the leg pattern and twist to the opposite side to complete 1 rep.

Keep your shoulder blades lifted (so the abs are engaged) throughout this entire movement.

Exhale as you twist to the side and inhale as you transition through the center.













Reverse Crunches

12 reps

Start with your knees in line with your hips and shins parallel to the floor. Bring the knees in towards your chest and then back out to the start position. 

Use the arms for support at your sides. Don't allow your lower back to arch up from the floor.

Exhale as your bring the knees in, inhale as you release them back out.








Straight Leg Lowers

10 reps

Start with your knees in line with your hips and shins parallel to the floor. Bring the knees in towards your chest and then extend them up. Slowly lower your straight legs down towards the floor to complete one rep.

Don't let your lower back arch up. Place your hands under your lower back for additional support if needed.

Exhale as you lower your legs and inhale through the rest of the movement.
















Abs Stretch

Hold for 10-30 seconds

Extend your arms overhead and your legs out. Stretch your abs, like you're reaching your fingertips and toes to opposite walls.

Breathe deeply.

Oblique Stretch

Hold for 10-30 seconds

Rock up to a seated position, legs extended. Bring your right leg in, keeping foot flat on the floor. Twist to the right side, wrapping your left arm around the right leg. Repeat on opposite side.

Breathe deeply.

Plank

Hold for 10-30 seconds

Place hands directly under shoulders and balance weight between your hands and the balls of the feet. Your body should remain in a straight line and your abs should be pulled in tight.

Don't lift or droop the hips—keep them in line with the body. Make it easier by dropping to your elbows or to your knees.

Breathe steadily throughout the exercise. 

Side Plank

Hold for 10-30 seconds

Place elbow directly under the shoulder and stack your legs.  Lift hips up, balancing on your elbow and the side of the foot. Hold this position.

Make it easier by staggering your legs (one foot in front of the other) or dropping down to the knees instead of the feet.

Breathe steadily throughout the exercise. 

Hip Lifts

8 reps

Lower back down to the floor from your plank. Pull the abs in tight and lift the hips back up towards the ceiling, then lower back down to the mat.

Make it easier by staggering your legs (one foot in front of the other) or dropping down to the knees instead of the feet.

Exhale as you lift up and inhale as you lower down.

Before moving on, repeat the Plank and Hip Lifts on the opposite side.







Swimming

10 slow reps, hold, 8 pulses

Extend arms and legs while lying on your stomach. Lift opposite arm and leg up and slowly lower down. Repeat on other side to complete 1 rep.

Exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower.







Upward Dog Stretch
 

Hold for 10-30 seconds
 

Push yourself back onto hands and knees.
Slowly lower your hips down towards the floor and slightly extend legs.Pull shoulders down and look up towards the ceiling.
 

Breathe deeply. 

Child's Pose Stretch
 

Hold for 10-30 seconds
 

Starting on hands and knees, turn your toes under and shift your body weight back, over your heels.
 

Extend arms forward, relax through your shoulders and neck, and reach through fingertips.
 

Breathe deeply.

Cat Stretches
 
Hold each for 10-30 seconds

Push yourself back onto hands and knees.  Engage the abs and round the spine, looking towards your navel.
 
Reverse that movement by arching the back, dropping the belly down, and looking towards the ceiling.







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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
Nicole was named "America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch" in 2011. A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, she loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Her DVDs "Total Body Sculpting" and "28 Day Boot Camp" (a best seller) are available online and in stores nationwide. Read Nicole's full bio and blog posts.

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Member Comments

  • great ideas for a workout.. Wish I knew how to save this video to help me work out. - 1/11/2013 3:38:56 PM
  • Thank you a lot. I am going to do them definitely because I think this will help me a lot. - 6/19/2012 6:00:09 AM
  • I just tried it for the first time this is a great workout for abs thanks - 4/29/2012 3:26:25 PM
  • Thanks so much for this ab workout. This is what my coworker and I needed to go along with our walks. - 4/23/2009 10:09:19 AM
  • THINNYTHINTHIN
    I have only done this once and can feel the strength in my core after I finished. Great series! - 2/12/2009 7:45:10 PM
  • I'm so glad there's a print out for this one! Thanks a lot. - 1/14/2009 8:56:32 AM
  • love this article
    thanks so much! - 8/27/2008 12:45:54 AM
  • Is there anyway to copy to a MP3. I want to play on my portable DVD to take to work and workout during my breaks. It would help me tremendously. - 6/10/2008 8:31:24 PM
  • I would LOVE to get all of the workouts in printable form - much easier for me to do the routine that way - thank you! - 4/4/2008 11:17:59 AM
  • Mush142 - Same here, I find a lot of formatting a problem. In the meantime, keep sifting through the sheets. We might get work as a card dealer. Good Luck with your workout. - 4/4/2008 5:25:03 AM
  • Printable version really great. I could never quite get to the end of this - as its a real killer. I can do it in two parts now.
    No wonder I get the fat around my middle - the muscles are really out of shape. - 4/4/2008 5:22:43 AM
  • MUTHUSRK
    wow!what a wonderful site!! i really happy to see these programs.sure i am going to follow these programs and fit for everyday life with enthusiasm
    thank you very very much
    muthusrk - 2/9/2008 6:16:37 AM
  • ZIPCHAN
    It's awesome that you guys finally released a printable version of this! Now if there were an option to add this to our exercise tracker (Well... besides entering everything individually, of course.), everything would be perfect! ;D - 12/29/2007 10:14:37 AM
  • Wow!!! You don't realize how much I appreciate you allowing this to be printed. I have a very very slow computer at home and it took 4 hours to download the thing, so I stopped and started it at work writing down what I saw. This is so awesome! This was my first favorites save and although I haven't done it much (because I have to be at work to see it), now I can do it. Thanks again!!!! - 12/27/2007 10:02:48 AM
  • Is it possible to reformat this article? I've tried printing it several times and it does not print as it appears on the screen. All of the text is pushed over to the left in a more narrow column.

    Great article and workout! Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! - 12/27/2007 9:22:20 AM
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