There’s no question a toned tummy looks awesome, but having strong abs also provides important physical benefits. If your abdominal, lower back and oblique muscles are all strong, you will be less likely to have low-back issues. Plus, a strong core means your posture will improve, and you’ll even look more confident. Of course, ab-specific moves are a key component of a well-rounded exercise program, but crunches alone won’t get you great abs. So include some cardio—jumping rope is a great calorie burner (350 in half an hour).
Ideally we should be getting 30 minutes of fitness a day. But when time is tight, doing one of our 10-Minute Tuneups whenever you can fit it in can make a significant difference. Just getting into fitness? You can start with the lower-impact Easier Options. If you do those, gradually introduce the tougher moves until you’re no longer doing the easier option. And, as always, check with your doctor before starting a workout plan.
1. Warm-up: 1 minute Do gentle jumping jacks. Or simply march briskly in place while swinging arms to shoulder height.