If you’re looking for a 10-minute abs workout, Pamela Reif is your girl. With over 9 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, Reif is an effective trainer – she jumps straight into training and performs exercises in real time, making it easy to track. Can you burn your heart out in 10 minutes? I rolled out my yoga mat to find out more.
As a fitness editor, I’m no stranger to Reif’s workouts. In fact, you can read what happened when i tried his famous six minute abs workout with over 21 million views here. I’m a fan of how Reif’s workouts are short and quick – they sculpt your core without needing you to spend hours in the gym, and you can fit them in on your lunch break.
In the caption for this killer six-pack workout, Reif writes that the workout targets “lower abs, upper abs, and side abs,” that it’s an advanced workout, and that it’s “100 % suitable for men”. You don’t need equipment for the workout, so place these best adjustable dumbbells to one side (or check out this 15 minute dumbbell abs workout if you want to use them).
Looking for more workout inspiration? Read what happened when this writer did 50 Russian Twists every day for a weekand when we tried this 7 minute resistance band glutes workout.
What is Pamela Reif’s 10 Minute Abs Workout?
Pamela Reif’s 10-Minute Ab Workout is a series of 20 bodyweight exercises, held for 30 seconds each. The video has a timer in the upper right corner, allowing you to follow in real time. As for form, Reif writes, “make sure to keep your lower back flat on the mat. Only lower your legs as far down as possible, so your lower back doesn’t lift off the mat.
Reif also recommends lowering your head to the mat if you feel any of the exercises are putting too much pressure on your neck. She also recommends thinking about your abs throughout the workout – “it’s about the mind-muscle connection. Lift your legs with the strength of your abs, not your thighs”.
As the workout is only 10 minutes long there is no pause, but if you are a beginner or returning to exercising after an injury feel free to pause the video and take a break when you need it.
The workout is easy to follow, but if you like to prepare in advance, it includes the following exercises:
Cross-raised knees and legs: For this variation of the crunch, Reif has one leg straight and the other crossed, with the knee pointing to the side, almost like a figure-four stretch. Keeping your lower leg straight, engage from your abs and straighten your torso toward your legs. Return to your starting position and repeat.
Dennis knife and clapperboard: For this exercise, start lying on your back with your arms and legs straight and raised a few inches off the floor. Starting from your core, lift your head, neck, and torso off the floor and lift your legs toward your torso at the same time. Keeping your arms straight, clap your hands behind your legs, before lowering back to your starting position.
Drop leg reverse crunch: Another Pamela classic – doing two moves in one. For this exercise, perform a reverse crunch, then once you’ve lowered your glutes toward the mat, lower one straight leg away from your body. Raise it back to the ceiling, then perform another reverse crunch.
I Tried Pamela Reif’s 10 Minute Killer-Abs Workout – Here’s What Happened
Reif wasn’t lying when she said this workout was advanced – a few exercises and my heart was pounding. Turns out I wasn’t alone, a quick look at the comments on the video confirmed it was a tough workout, with one person writing: “That’s when the board seems be the easiest exercise you realize it works”.
Many of the abdominal exercises were challenging, combining two different exercises into one for a real burn. While 30 seconds is a relatively short rep, the lack of pausing turns this workout into a slow build – you really feel it in no time.
As someone with sciatica, I have to be careful during workouts to make sure I don’t arch my lower back. The majority of this workout was done lying on the floor, however, I found that I had to reduce the range of motion with a few strokes or raise my legs higher to ensure my back remained pressed against floor.
I also appreciated the activation exercises at the start of the workout. Something often missing from YouTube workouts, the activation drills got me ready, engaged, for the workout. Here is how to engage your heart and why it matters.
Ten minutes later, my heart felt like it had had a good workout. A few hours later, I was in pain. The next morning, I only had 20 seconds in my Pilates reformer class before I felt my abs shaking. This is a great abs workout for anyone looking for a fast and effective burn. This is one I will definitely repeat – once my abs have recovered.
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