The 4-Move Ab Workout I Sneak In Before My Morning Coffee

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If you're like me, there are two truths in your life: You need coffee in the morning to function, and you like the idea of a core workout, but almost always, without fail, forget to do one. Sure, I'm great at making time for my favorite cardio workout, but I'm notorious at forgetting to squeeze in a solid ab workout. Although it may seem like a minor thing to neglect, having a strong core is essential for almost any strength building, and for a runner like me, it can be crucial for helping with stamina during long runs.

However, if there's one thing I never forget to do, it's making a cup of coffee in the morning. So I thought I'd challenge myself: Make the two actions one routine. Before I enjoyed my first cuppa, I'd spend the 15 minutes I'd normally be on my phone and complete a simple core flow instead. To help with this new energizing routine, I turned to ACE- and ISSA-certified personal trainer and LA-based group fitness instructor at Crunch, Kenta Seki.

Seki explained that he actually loves working his core first thing in the morning. "It's a great way to wake up your body and mind and literally helps build a solid foundation for the rest of your day," he said.

To get me on my way to becoming the core person I always dreamed of, Seki shared with me his four favorite moves to try in the morning. All you need to do this routine is 10-to-15 pre-caffeinated minutes and a soft surface to lay on. You don't even need to change into full-on workout clothes. I'm opting to complete my core sequence while wearing my sleepwear or on the weekends, cozy pants like the UA RECOVER™ Sleepwear Joggers ($65).

Check out my new pre-caffeine core workout here.

Seated Knee Tucks

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet off the floor, keeping your legs together.
  • Place your hands on the floor behind you, with your fingers pointing forward and elbows pointing back.
  • Begin to lean back as you extend your legs straight out, until they are about a foot up off the floor.
  • Crunch your knees back in toward your chest as you lightly press into your hands.

Complete three sets of 15 reps.

Straight Leg Bicycles

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight up toward the sky and your hands behind your head with your elbows open wide.
  • Lower your right leg straight down about a foot up off the floor, as you crunch your upper body up and cross your right elbow to your left knee.
  • Switch legs as you cross your opposite elbow to the other knee.

Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Twisting Forearm Plank

  • Come into a plank position on your forearms, with your elbows on the ground directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Twist your hips down to the right, as you turn your toes to point to the left.
  • Switch sides, keeping your knees straight and abs engaged the whole time.

Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Butterfly Sit Ups

  • Begin in a butterfly stretch, with the soles of your feet together and knees open wide.
  • Slowly round your back as you roll your upper body down onto the floor behind you, and reach your arms straight back.
  • Keep your feet in the butterfly position as you sit up and reach your arms back forward, touching the ground on the floor in front of your feet.

Complete three sets of 15 reps.