Between walking countless runways, becoming the face (and body) of La Perla and Calvin Klein, and posting the occasional swimsuit selfie, Kendall Jenner and her figure are on constant display. But just like us, the busy model doesn't always have time to hit the gym or spend an hour and a half at the barre.
Instead, as she spilled on her now-defunct site and app, Jenner relies on an 11-minute at-home ab workout that sees results fast. Her abs are her favorite thing to work out, so whenever she has just over 10 minutes to spare at home or on the road, she said she does this effective circuit to work her core. "Sometimes when I'm watching TV, I think to myself, 'I should be doing crunches and sit-ups right now,'" she wrote. "Then I get off the couch and do it."
So the next time you're unable to drag yourself to the gym or find it impossible to make it to your fitness class, keep in mind that 11 minutes and a small area on the floor may be all you need to up your ab game and make over your core.
Grab your yoga mat, heed our fitness experts' advice, and try out the moves below that Kendall Jenner swears by to work her abs.
Meet the Expert
Kendall's At-Home Ab Workout
Forearm plank: 30 seconds
- Get down in push-up position, but instead of propping yourself with your hands, bend your arms at your elbows so all your weight is on your forearms.
- Keep your abs tight, clench your glutes, and make sure your body is straight from head to toe.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
When you're down in this position, you will feel it through your abs/core, triceps, back, and shoulder, according to Ashley Joi, an expert trainer at Centr. "Any move that targets your core is great for your body because it makes you stronger and more stable, aids your posture, and helps you move better both when you're exercising and also just in daily life," she states. "This is true of any core moves, and forearm planks are no exception!"
High plank: 30 seconds
- Once again, get down in push-up position, but stay up on your hands making sure they are stacked directly under your shoulders.
- Make sure your body is straight and you're squeezing your glutes together.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
This move is similar to the forearm plank, but involves stabilizing yourself with your hands rather than with your forearms. "The high plank shifts the focus a little bit more toward the muscles of the upper body, with a focus on the shoulders and arms," says Cathy Spencer-Browning, VP of programming and training at MOSSA. "Because the angle of the movement changes, it is slightly less taxing for the core than the forearm plank, but still reaps the benefits."
Side plank: 15 seconds
- Start on one side with your forearm propping you up and directly under your shoulder. Keep your feet together and stacked on top of each other.
- Keep your core tight and lift your hips until your body is straight from head to toe.
- Hold for 15 seconds without letting your hips drop. Repeat for the opposite side.
Stick to the plank position, but focus on your right and left side. This will not only get your obliques burning, but your arms and shoulders will be putting in more overtime since you're holding yourself up with only one arm instead of two. "The side plank targets muscles differently than the regular sunny-side-down plank," says Spencer-Browning. "[It] activates the oblique muscles, or the rotating and side bending muscles, as well as the deep muscles of the lower back and across the side of the hip."
This move can require a little more strength and balance, so it's OK to modify it if you're feeling wobbly. "If you're not quite strong enough yet, you can start by keeping your bottom knee on the ground and work up to having both legs off the floor together," adds Joi.
Side plank with crunch: 5 reps per side
- Start off in the same position as the side plank, with hips off the ground and your top hand behind your head.
- Bend your top leg and raise it to meet the bent elbow of the hand behind your head.
- Bring your leg and hand back to the starting position in a slow, controlled movement.
- Repeat five times and then switch sides.
Get your muscles prepared to take the side plank to the next level. "When we throw the crunch into the mix and combine it with the side plank, we now have a combination of isometric stabilizing work with a more classic core exercise," says Spencer-Browning. "Not only do we strengthen the obliques, upper back, and shoulders, but now we add the muscles across the front of the hip as well."
Single arm/leg plank: 15 seconds
- Start in the same position as the high plank, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your body straight.
- Lift either your right or left arm up in front of you, then lift the opposite leg.
- Hold this pose for 15 seconds.
Sick of planks yet? Hope not, because this single-arm plank is giving you a trifecta of benefits. "This is like getting three for the price of one," Spencer-Browning says, "with the benefits of the full planks, the side planks, and the side plank with the crunch."
"It's always good to test your balance!" comments Joi. "By lifting one leg, one arm, or both (on opposite sides) off the ground at the same time, you're forcing your body to stabilize and find balance—which can be tough!"
Rocking plank: 15 seconds
- Start in the forearm plank position, keeping your body straight and your abs tight.
- Rock your body forward so that you're coming up onto your toes and your shoulders go past your elbows.
- Rock back into the starting position, and continue this movement for 15 seconds.
Rock out, plank-style. "The rocking plank maintains all the benefits of the forearm plank, but with some additional zing," comments Spencer-Browning. "Adding movement means that there is a subtle but valuable emphasis on the shoulders that must stabilize against the motion that is taking place." You're gonna feel the burn in your core, shoulders, and upper back.
Knee-to-elbow plank: 5 reps per side
- Start off in either a high plank or low plank position.
- While keeping your back flat and core tight, bring your knee up to your elbow on the same side.
- Pause and return leg back to the starting point. Repeat five times on each side.
This plank move is going to hit a variety of muscles, including hip flexors, shoulders, obliques, and glutes. "This exercise is like a bicycle crunch and high plank in one," says Spencer-Browning. "It creates a strong and stable core while simultaneously activating the muscles across the hips."
Crunch: 20 reps
- Lie flat on your back with feet on the floor, knees bent, and legs hip-width apart.
- Place your hands behind your head and lift your upper body, making sure your head and neck are relaxed.
- Return down to the starting position and repeat 20 times.
Let's switch gears from the planks and focus on good ol' crunches. "Crunches develop the muscles on the front of the core," says Spencer-Browning. "Particularly the rectus abdominis or 'six-pack muscle,' [which is] the muscle that curls the spine."
It's important to make sure you have the correct form for this move. "Make sure you're using your core muscles rather than crunching your neck by pulling your head up with your hands!" Joi stresses. A good way to avoid that is by crossing your arms across your chest rather than having them under your head.
Bicycle crunch: 30 seconds
- Start off in the standard crunch position, lying faceup with hands behind your head.
- Lift your legs so that your shins are parallel to the floor.
- Straighten out your left leg and bring your right knee closer to your chest at the same time that you turn your upper body to the right, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee.
- Repeat these steps, alternating directions, for 30 seconds.
No bike required for this crunch. "The bicycle crunch combines the benefit of the crunch, but with the addition of the additional muscles across the hip joint," according to Spencer-Browning. "It also calls into play the oblique muscles because of the rotational nature of the movement."
Keep things slow and steady with this move until you feel you've mastered it. "You'll be surprised how much coordination goes into doing a bicycle crunch!" Joi notes.
Vertical crunch: 20 seconds
- Start off lying with your back flat on the floor and hands behind your head.
- Lift your legs straight up so they are perpendicular to the floor, keeping them straight and squeezed together.
- Use your abdominal muscles to lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor, holding the crunch for one second before returning back to the starting position.
- Continue for 20 seconds.
The vertical crunch is similar to the basic crunch, but can work a few more muscles. "Where the crunch places the emphasis on the upper portion of the abs, the vertical crunch works both top and bottom," says Spencer-Browning. "It improves coordination between the upper and lower body, while simultaneously improving relative strength."
Joi points out other benefits too. "As well as working your abs, vertical crunches bring in muscles along your spine to support your core, which can help with your posture and balance throughout the day," she says. "It's a more intense take on the standard crunch, so you can mix up your routine with this one."
Frog crunch: 15 reps
- Start with your back flat on the floor and hands behind your head.
- Knees should be slightly bent with soles of your feet flat together (basically your legs are open and making a diamond shape).
- Lift your upper body using your abdominal muscles while at the same time bringing your knees toward your chest.
- Repeat 15 times.
Time to get in some crunches, froggy-style. "The frog crunch feels slightly more intense than the crunch because of, surprisingly, the elimination of muscles," comments Spencer-Browning. "The action of the hip flexors is largely eliminated while curling the torso in this position, hence isolating this movement to the superficial core muscles."
Twisted crunch: 15 reps
- Start with your back flat on the ground and hands behind your head.
- Lift your legs off the ground with a 90-degree bend at your knees and hips and shins parallel to the floor.
- Using your abdominals and obliques, twist your upper body to the left so your right shoulder and elbow are turning toward your left knee.
- Return back down to the starting position and twist to the right side.
- Continue this movement, alternating sides, for 15 reps.
This move could also wind up getting your heart pumping if you do it quickly. "If you love cardio like me, you can speed it up and make this a mountain climber," states Joi. "If you're keeping things slow and steady, make sure you're moving deliberately and with control the whole time."
So why do "the twist"? "The twisted crunch uses the same muscles of the crunch with the addition of the obliques," explains Spencer-Browning. "Any time we add rotational components to movements, we are making them more 'life appropriate' because rotating, twisting, bending—these are all fundamental life movements that we want to be able to do with ease and confidence." In addition to your obliques, Joi states that you'll feel this move in your quads, hip flexors, and lower back.
Leg lifts: 15 per leg
- Lie on the ground with legs straight and together and arms at your sides with palms down.
- Slowly start to lift one leg off the ground, keeping it straight, to a height that feels comfortable to you.
- Lower back down and repeat with the opposite leg.
- Do this 15 times for each leg.
This is the last exercise, but not the least. "You'll definitely find leg lowers/lifts in some of my Centr workouts because this move hits your lower abs, which can be tough to reach using other ab exercises," comments Joi. "It's also really adaptable depending on your strength level—if your lower back is coming up off the ground, then don't lower your legs as far. As you get stronger through your core, you'll be able to go further."