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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Going to the gym or attending a workout class can be time-consuming, and if you’re busy, it can be hard to find that time to work out. For the days I don’t have much time, I bought a yoga mat that I can use to do workouts in my dorm room. It’s so quick and convenient that it’s harder to make excuses not to work out.

I usually switch off between core and butt exercises, so I can give each part of my body a little more rest. However, I have only listed my abdominal workout below. This combination of exercises is perfect because it targets your upper abs, lower abs, and side abs muscles.

1. Planks (6 reps for 30 seconds, 30-second rest)

Photo credit: Women’s Health Mag

Do six planks for 30 seconds each with a 30-second rest in between each rep. With planks, the most important thing is to keep your body in a straight line. Many people let their butt get too high or too low, especially when it starts to hurt after a few reps. Sometimes planks hurt people’s shoulders, so I like to switch off each rep between doing the plank on my elbows and on my hands.

2. Bicycles (5 reps of 40 total, 30 second rest)

Photo credit: Pop Sugar

Do 40 bicycles (total, not each side) five times with a 30 second rest between each. For bicycles, you will bring your knee up and touch your opposite elbow to it. Your head stays off the ground the whole time as you continuously switch sides. Make sure to extend your leg all the way as you bring it back down, and keep your feet off the ground.

3. Russian Twist, weight optional (100 total)

Photo Credit: Pop Sugar

Do 100 Russian twists total, not each side. Keep your feet off the ground, and twist your body from side to side. Make sure not to move your legs, and twist your whole core so that you’re not just moving your arms. You can use a weight to increase the difficulty. I don’t own weights, so I substitute one with my bottle of laundry detergent.

4. Side Crunches (40 each side)

Photo Credit: Women’s Health Mag

Do 40 side crunches each side. Keep your knees together and your bottom knee on the ground. To keep your core engaged, don’t lie all the way back down between each rep. Also, make sure that your hips stay vertical and that they don’t roll back. This will help you keep your knees together.

5. Seated Rows (50 reps)

Photo Credit: Pop Sugar

Do 50 seated rows. Bend your knees and bring them up as you lift your upper body. As you go back down, make sure to extend your legs all the way and keep your feet off the ground. Don’t lie all the way down between each rep to keep your core engaged.

6. Flutter Kicks (1 minute)

Do flutter kicks for one minute. As you move your feet, keep them just above the ground and close together. Tense your core and push your lower back to the ground so your back doesn’t arch. You can put your hands under your butt to make it easier or keep them on the ground by your side for a challenge.

7. Cross-Body Mountain Climbers (50 total)

Photo credit: womenshealthmag.com

Do 50 cross-body mountain climbers total, not each side. Start in a plank position on your hands and bring your knee up under you to the opposite elbow. The tricky part is keeping your butt low as you bring your leg up. If you let your butt go up, you lose the tension in your core.

These are the reps and times that work for me, so feel free to adjust this workout to what’s right for you. This workout can be done pretty much anywhere in less than 30 minutes, so no more excuses!

Cover photo from magazine.nasm.org


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Emily is a communication student at Boston University. She discovered her go-to accessory, a camera, at age two. In her free time, she explores the city, binge-watches Netflix, searches for cute bookstores, and wanders through any parks and gardens she can find. 
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.