Ten-minute workouts: the secret to model-worthy Instagram abs?

September 12, 2019 — by Jeanette Zhou and Kavita Sundaram

Nowadays, there seems to be so much focus on body image and the “perfect body,” one with an hourglass figure and tiny waist. From YouTube videos to wikiHow articles, it is easy to find thousands of videos and workouts advertising quick ways to attain such a body.

One of the most popular “quick abs” videos is the 10-minute ab routine of one of  Instagram’s most famous models, Alexis Ren. Ren, with her much-sought-after small waist and chiseled frame, has racked up 13.2 million followers. Her workout video has over 17 million views, and with Ren saying she performs it every morning to keep her toned abs, we, as out-of-season rowers, set out to try it ourselves for a week and uncover the truth.  

The exercise itself is barely 10 minutes long and requires no equipment; we were able to complete the workout for a week, even when it was late at night, and we had piles of homework and dishes to do. 

As for difficulty level, the workout isn’t too challenging. The video has 20 moderately difficult exercises that run nonstop, including sit ups, planks and heel touches; after all, who doesn’t love a solid plank? Each exercise lasts only 30 seconds, and it is easy enough to take a quick break when switching between exercises or to simply pause the video (of course, she never takes such breaks). 

Did it work? After our weeklong experiment, we did see a difference, but it was only a little more definition of our abs. Along with the physical results, though, we did notice that we were getting stronger — or at least strong enough to complete the entire routine without breaks. Initially, it was difficult to follow through the entire routine without rest, even though the exercises themselves were easy to complete and didn’t leave us sore. 

Neither of us has a six pack just yet, but who knows? After several weeks, we could maybe achieve something like Ren’s toned abs. We might not be motivated enough to stick it out for more than a week, but those who can will definitely be satisfied with their results.


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