10 minute abdominal exercises

Trying to find time to exercise

I’m sure lots of you will relate to my  struggle to find time to exercise. As I’ve written previously I had a significant diastasis recti after giving birth so it’s really important for me to keep looking after my tummy muscles. If I have a week without core exercises I can feel the diastasis gap widening again. I know not only does this mean my core and pelvic floor are weaker but it also has cosmetic implications. My tummy starts to bulge out again and I can go from being my usual size 6-8 to looking about 6 months pregnant on a bad week!


So…..I am also a huge fan of 10 minute workouts at home. I’m going to share one of my basic abdominal exercise routines taking around 10 minutes. There is no equipment is required. You will also note that I don’t include any crunches only because I still really find these difficult to do without causing stress on my diastasis recti.


Please note: Although I can just about do most of these exercises now, if any of you have issues with diastasis recti I would strongly recommend getting a professional to show you how to engage your transverse muscles when exercises and also how to check whether you are getting any doming of your abdomen (which is a sign the recti diastasis is under stress).

I aim to perform each exercise for around a minute.

10 minute Abdominal Workout

1. Plank


  • Lie on front
  • Push up onto your elbows (forearms remain touching the floor)
  • Try to hold in tummy muscles and also don’t stick your bum in the air!
  • Try to keep the whole body in a straight line.
  • Hold for as long as possible – up to a minute

2. Bicycle

  • Lie on back with knees  and hips bent at 90 degrees and feet off the floor
  • Reach right elbow towards left knee and straighten right leg at the same time
  • Repeat with left arm towards right knee
  • Continue to alternate arms and legs for up to a minute
  • (this sounds really complicated but its not once you’ve started!)

3. Side plank left


  • Lie on left side
  • Push up onto left elbow and keep hips in straight line
  • Hold for as long as possible – up to 1 minute

4. Side plank right

  • Lie on right side
  • Push up onto right elbow, keep hips in line with the rest of the body
  • Hold for as long as possible up to a minute

5. Alternate Arm/leg stretch (Mr R calls this the superman)

  • Knee onto all fours
  • Lift left arm and right leg off the ground and stretch them at 90 degrees to body
  • Return to start position and repeat with other arm and leg.
  • Continue to repeat with alternate arms and legs.

6. Plank with toe taps

  • Get into plank position
  • Hold position and lift left foot just off the ground. Tap immediately back down again and repeat with right foot.
  • Continue to tap from left to right foot for as long as possible up to a minute.

7. Double leg circles (this one can be tricky….if its too difficult just make smaller circles!)

  • Lie on back
  • Stretch both legs into air – at 90 degrees to body
  • Keeping feet together move legs around in a slow circle
  • Continue for as long as possible up to a minute

8. Side plank push ups (30 seconds each side)


  • lie on side with knees slightly bent
  • Raise hip off ground (as if doing a sideways push up!)
  • Lower and repeat as many times as possible – up to 30 seconds then switch sides

9. Scissors


  • Lie on back
  • Raise left leg off ground
  • Lower back to ground and as the heel taps down lift right leg
  • Continue to alternate legs for as long as possible up to a minute.

10. Stretch!

Please let me know if any of you also have experience with diastasis recti or anyone also struggling to find time to exercise?

Mums' Days

17 thoughts on “10 minute abdominal exercises

    • tenminutesspare February 26, 2015 / 4:09 pm

      Yes I can usually squash them somehow into my day… Of course last night I was too busy writing about them to actually do the routine… Perhaps I’m not such a good advocate after all!


    • tenminutesspare May 8, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      Thanks! Planks are quite difficult aren’t they. There’s no way I could do one in the first few months after childbirth but managing much better now.


  1. Doctomum May 8, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    These are fab! I try not to look at my stomach much but had diastasis the first time round and am pretty sure I have the left overs of it again but am living in denial. When I come out of denial I will try these exercises! #thelist

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 8, 2015 / 1:59 pm

      Considering we as women are designed to have children, it still takes a hefty toll on our bodies doesn’t it?! Thanks for commenting I’ve just read your entry on #thelist too will comment soon!


  2. Astrid May 8, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    These are all great exercises. I think I’m going to try these for a bit. The explanations are also great (I am blind so can’t see any pics you may’ve included). #thelist

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 8, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Thanks very much. I was worried my explanations weren’t fully clear so great to hear they can be followed. You’ve also reminded me of the importance of using alt text for my pictures. I hope you enjoy the exercises if you have a go! Thanks so much for commenting.


  3. LoveFromCluelessMum May 8, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    Perfect timing, I’ve just started working on my abs again and find myself running out of time and ideas quickly! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 10, 2015 / 8:28 pm

      Glad it was helpful. Hope you manage to find some time for yourself.


  4. hannah mum's days May 14, 2015 / 1:29 pm

    Great workout! Does it really only take 10minues?! I may well give it a go tonight πŸ™‚ Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx


    • tenminutesspare May 14, 2015 / 2:53 pm

      Yes it really is quick. The way I do it is to just set up stop watch and time a minute for each exercise. You could do each one as long as you can manage but I find I’m much more likely to get on and do the workout when I know it’ll only be ten mins! I’m supposed to do something like this everyday.


  5. Mummy Tries May 15, 2015 / 5:32 pm

    Oh wow what a fab post for all us busy mums! Thanks Rachel, I’ll definitely be giving it a go πŸ™‚ #thelist

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 15, 2015 / 6:43 pm

      Thank you. I find it really helpful for me, and I do only time it for ten minutes, although if you’re feeling motivated you could always try doing each exercise for as long as is comfortable rather than just timing them.

      Liked by 1 person

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