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Ab Workouts for Women

Six-Pack Boot Camp: 30-20-10 Glute, Ham and Ab Routine

This workout may be quick, but you'll be feeling the effects of it for days to come!

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The name of this workout tells the story. Three focused exercises — side leg lifts for the glutes, side-plank knee to chest for the abs and core, and inchworms to stretch the hamstrings and work the shoulders — are alternated with the classic isometric front plank. Rep counts decrease on the three focused moves (from 30 to 20 to 10, respectively), with planks being held for 30 to 60 seconds. 

“This is a very sneaky core workout that requires focus and patience, particularly on the front planks and inchworms,” says ISSA-certified trainer and former U.S. Marine Aneshea Shali, the mastermind behind the routine. “You’ll really be challenged with the 20 reps on the advanced side-plank knee to chest, and the higher reps on leg lifts will burn your glutes.”

Three times through this sequence and you’ll be feeling it from your delts down through your legs, and definitely in your glutes. If that’s not enough, the advanced option calls for one or two additional rounds. 

Check out more Six-Pack Boot Camp Workouts here!

30-20-10 Glute, Ham and Ab Routine

Do each of the below exercises one after another as a circuit, doing the prescribed number of reps (or time) per move. After you’ve completed the circuit, rest 60 seconds and repeat for two more rounds (three circuits total). 

If you’re advanced and want a greater challenge, do one or two additional rounds, do the full 60 seconds on all front-plank holds and/or shorten the rest between rounds to zero to 30 seconds. 

Exercise Reps
Lying Side Leg Lift 30 (per side)
Front-Plank Hold 30-60 seconds
Side-Plank Knee to Chest 20 (per side)
Front-Plank Hold 30-60 seconds
Inchworm 10
Front-Plank Hold 30-60 seconds
Rest 60 seconds, then repeat for two more rounds

Exercise Descriptions and Tips

Front-Plank Hold

Front Plank Hold

Execution: Assume a standard downward-facing plank position — toes and forearms on the floor, body in a straight line from head to heels, eyes on the floor to keep your spine in a safe, neutral position. Keeping your midsection and hips fully engaged, hold this position for the allotted time. When the time’s up, come out of it by dropping your knees to the floor.

Shali’s Coaching Cue: “This is just your basic plank hold, but don’t get complacent on it. Stay focused on staying tight through your core and hips. Don’t let your hips sag down to the floor! And keep your breath steady and relaxed. Beginners, shoot for 30 seconds per set; advanced ladies, go for a minute.”

Lying Side Leg Lift

Execution: Lie on the floor on your side with your upper body propped up on your downside forearm. Start with your legs together, stacked on top of each other, then contract your glutes to raise the top leg straight up as high as possible. Keep your leg fully extended throughout. Lower back down and repeat for reps. Do all reps on that side, then switch sides. 

Shali’s Coaching Cue: “The motion here should be strong and powerful on the way up and under control on the way back down. Your glutes should be burning by the end of the set, and you should feel a stretch in the inner thigh of the working leg. This exercise works both glutes and hip mobility.”

Side-Plank Knee to Chest

Execution: Get into a side-plank position — body facing one side, downside foot and forearm on the floor, body in a straight line from head to toe, core tight. Holding this position, raise your upside knee to chest level, then return back to the side plank. Repeat for reps on that side, then switch sides. 

Shali’s Coaching Cue: “This is a pretty advanced exercise. When first starting out, keep the movement fairly slow to keep your balance. The key here is to not let your hips drop to the floor — this is a challenge, especially late in the set when you’re fatigued. If you need to take a brief rest in the middle of the set, that’s fine.” 

Inchworm

Execution: Begin bent over at the waist with your legs straight and leaning into your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Slowly walk your hands forward on the floor to lower yourself into a push-up position. When you get there, reverse the motion to walk your hands back to your feet. That’s one rep. Go right into the next one.

Shali’s Coaching Cue: “I love this exercise as both a core stability workout and a good hamstring stretch. You’ll also get some shoulder work out of it. As you progress, try to bring your hands in closer to your feet when you come back up while still keeping your knees fully extended to increase the hamstring stretch. This may be easy for extremely flexible people, but for others? Not so much.”