by | Mar 19, 2014 | 22 comments

Before I deliver your Workout Wednesday “treat” (in the form of a killer ab workout that works your entire core!), just two quick things to catch up on:

  1. If you didn’t get a chance to check out my guest post on Life’s A Bowl yesterday, head on over and check it out! I discuss how working out gives us confidence, talk about workout selfies, and share some pretty silly selfie collages of myself and Allison!  I’d love to hear what you think! Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.19.05 PM
  2. If you came to my site yesterday afternoon and it looked a bit wonky, my apologies!  It’s all up and running again!

“You Get What You Work For” 10-Minute Ab Burner

OK, let’s talk about how this workout originated.  A few weeks ago, I challenged myself to do a 5-minute plank.  I built up to 5 minutes straight when we completed the 30-day Ab Challenge together, and I generally keep up with some kind of quick core work on most days of the week.  So, I figured reviving the 5-minute plank would be hard, but not impossible.  Well … I was wrong.  It was impossible, at least for me, on that day.

My first thought was “oh man, what happened?”  But what happened is obvious … I haven’t been putting in the work required to maintain my strongest core, so I clearly shouldn’t have been surprised that I was not in my peak form.  I am not always a fan of the expression “no pain, no gain,” because (when taken to extremes) it might encourage people to push beyond their body’s limits and injure themselves.  However, am a big fan of the expression “You get what you work for.”  (If you’re a grammar nerd and are cringing right now, I’m using this as my excuse). you get what you work for(picture source: another broken Pinterest link)

If we want results, we’ve got to work for them.  If the results you’re after are a more defined and toned core, you’ve come to the right place, because this workout will make you work!  It actually goes by quite quickly, and one round finishes up within 5 minutes or so.  If you’re more advanced, I challenge you to complete 2 rounds in a row!  I did it, and was glad I did!  You’ll find explanations and links to video demonstrations below the (pinnable!) graphic.  Enjoy the workout! You Get What You Work for 10 minute Ab Burner

Workout Explanations and Video Links

  1. Crunches on exercise ball: with lower back resting on ball, feet planted on floor, and hands behind head, lift up in a crunch.  Point your chin outwards rather than crunching your body over – you’ll feel it!  Perform 50 reps.
  2. Plank tuck on exercise ball: With hands planted on floor in plank position, lift feet one-by-one and place on top of exercise ball.  Slowly roll ball forward so knees come in towards your chin in a  tuck.  Perform 10 reps.  (Note that if you are a beginner or feel uncomfortable, you may want to avoid this move).
  3. Plank: hold plank position on your hands for 1 minute.
  4. Plank side leg lifts: Without coming down from plank, rotate to one side.  Raise top leg as if you were going to touch your top arm.  Perform 15 reps, switch sides, and repeat.
  5. Supermans: Lying on your stomach, raise both legs and both arms all at once, then lower.  Perform 20 reps.

If you’re done, you’ve worked your upper and lower abs, obliques, and lower back … congratulations!  See, putting in the work isn’t all that bad :).  If you’re looking for more ab workouts, try this one, this one, or this one!

So tell me in the comments … What’s one example of how you need to put in the work to get results?  Have you been working your core lately?


  1. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun

    I’ve been focusing on core to strengthen it to help with running. I think that is SO vital. I used to neglect that but I am trying to focus on building strength to become a stronger runner!

    • Megan Lyons

      Good for you, Sara! I think I got by saying “oh, 50 crunches post-run is fine” and then “well, I did it yesterday, I’ll skip today” … but that adds up! I’m recommitted now!

  2. Michelle

    I just started the 30 day plank challenge yesterday – looking forward to the challenge of 5 minutes!!

    • Megan Lyons

      YAY! I knew someone was doing it because I have been seeing “lyons share 30 day ab challenge” pop up in my Google Analytics recently :). Hope you stick with it!! Maybe I’ll start again, too … good idea!

  3. Cori @ she's going the distance

    Awesome Ab workout! And it’s fact, you don’t use it, you lose it! i’m building for my best/strongest core as well! longest plank i’ve ever held was a 3:00. Bravo on 5, even if it was in the past. That’s great motivation!

    • Megan Lyons

      I bet we can both get back to 5:00! It’s amazing how much improvement you can make by just adding 5-10 seconds per session!

  4. Michael Anderson

    Great workout – and love the guest post as well!

    I think we have discussed my need to incorporate more all-around stuff in my routine … but this past week I have been doing a few minutes of core work rather than parking at the iPad waiting for the dogs to be done and ready to come in (as weather gets nicer they dawdle more).

    And I can’t think of ANYTHING where you don’t need to put in the work … I grabbed my guitar after a few weeks barely touching it and my entire time allotment was spent just warming up and doing exercises to get myself ‘back in shape’. That is just how it goes.

    • Megan Lyons

      That’s a great time to do core work, Michael! It’s kind of like “Greasing the Groove” … just getting in a habit of some type of workout when another trigger (like waiting for your dogs to come in) occurs. Keep up the guitar … I’m sure you’ll hit your stride again!

  5. Davida @ The Healthy Maven

    I actually have been working my core lately but never beyond a 2 minute plank! I love the purely twins plank workout videos so I do those on occasion which make me feel like I’ve done a 12 minute plank lol. But agreed, you get what you work for. For me, I put in enough work but not my max because then I would let fitness take over my life. I put in enough to keep me from being injured and in pain but not for attempting to look like a VS model!

    • Megan Lyons

      Purely Twins plank workouts are SO brutal (in a good way!). If you can get through those, you can totally work up to a plank longer than 2 minutes! Good points about putting in “your best” leading to letting fitness take over your life (or attempts to look like a VS model – ha!). That’s definitely not the goal, but it’s always fun to push yourself to the next limit :).

  6. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    Great core workout! I think I might do some of these exercises right now in between reading blogs:) Since I have been doing so much hip and glute work lately, I worry that I am neglecting my abs! Thanks for the reminder to keep up with planks:)

    • Megan Lyons

      It’s so tricky, right, Lisa? Once you get really good at focusing on one thing, you realize you’re forgetting another!

  7. Amanda - RunToTheFinish

    Great workout!! I have been really consistent with core for the last training cycle and know I need to switch up the moves!

    • Megan Lyons

      Good for you, Amanda! I loved your February ab challenge, so maybe I’ll get back to that! Or I may start my 30 Day Ab Challenge again!

  8. Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead

    I’m always on the lookout for new ab routines! I’m doing a ridiculously hilly (not hilly, really…just one massive hill) race in May, and I want to work on strengthening my core to help power up it. This will definitely help!

    • Megan Lyons

      That’s great, Cassie! Most people don’t think about using their core to power running. Good for you! Which race is it that you’re doing?

    • Megan Lyons

      You mean you LOVE planks on a stability ball, right, Lauren? 🙂 I totally hear you, though, I “love to hate” them, too!

  9. lindsay

    oh you know i am in love the planks! abbbbbsssolutely. and yay for LAB post!

    • Megan Lyons

      Yes! I love planks, too! And thanks for YOUR workout today, Lindsay! I loved your 30 minute roundup!

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Megan Lyons Headshot

Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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