4 Minutes to Rock-Hard Abs

Build core strength with this brutal 4-minute workout.

Lara McGlashan MFA CPT | January 06, 2016

Sounds simple — four minutes of sit-ups. But sometimes the simplest things are the most grueling. Do this Tabata after your strength or cardio workout, performing as many reps as you can for your 20-second interval. Keep count in your head, and in each subsequent round, try to match or beat that number or reps. Your “score” is the lowest (yes, lowest) number you get when all is said and done. Cruel? Maybe. But it will keep you honest and make you work harder next time.

Action Time
Butterfly Sit-Ups 20 seconds
Rest 10 seconds

Butterfly Sit-Up

Setup: Lie faceup with an AbMat or folded towel supporting your lower back and place the soles of your shoes together, knees flared. Touch your hands together and extend your arms straight overhead, fingers lightly brushing the floor.

Move: Exhale and sit up bringing your arms over and through to touch the bottom of your shoes, then roll back down to the floor and touch your fingertips overhead.

Tip: Do butterfly sit-ups at a measured pace, using strength, not momentum, to roll up.

About the Author

Lara McGlashan MFA CPT

Oxygen Fitness Editor Lara McGlashan has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and editor, who specializes in health, fitness, and nutrition. 

Lara is an ACE-certified personal trainer and fitness consultant. Her sports background includes skiing, snowboarding, flying trapeze, yoga, competitive beach volleyball, dance, mountain biking, hiking and running, to name a few endeavors. She is currently exploring the world of CrossFit in her home base of Connecticut, where she lives with her 2-year-old son, Alex.

You can follow her on Facebook at LaraFitnessEditor.