At first glance, it seems impossible that Kendall Jenner keeps her incredibly toned abs in shape with a simple 11-minute ab workout. While I’m sure there’s a lot of cardio, strict eating, and professional trainers also at work, I figured there couldn’t be any harm in trying to work the quick ab routine into my daily schedule. Kendall allegedly does this workout on a yoga mat whenever she has a free minute, even if that happens to be while watching TV or listening to music. With her physique in mind and a few solid TV shows in place, I embraced seven days of her 13 move ab workout.
While I’m definitely not in the best shape of my life, I hate to say how much day one kicked my butt. The plank-based routine only makes you do any given exercise for thirty seconds, and while I could do that for each move, I wasn’t happy about it. Most of the moves are super simple (i.e. normal planks and hand planks), and even the ones I didn’t know about previously proved manageable. The rocking plank was a new move for me, and the easy stretch was actually a welcome relief after the side plank elbow-to-knee crunches left me feeling shaky. Overall, day one was way more manageable than I expected, but I still felt like I’d worked hard in the quick routine.
I didn’t feel too sore after the first day, so I kicked my second morning off with the ab routine. It felt a little quicker today as I knew what I had to do for all the moves, but I still felt acutely aware of how bad my form probably was for each of them. Mostly, I was mad at how poor my balance seemed to be for sideways planks and side plank elbow-to-knee crunches on the left hand side. On the right hand side, I felt steady. However, I struggled to complete the move on the left side not because I didn’t have the ab strength to do so, but because I nearly toppled over when I tried to life my knee to my arm more than twice in succession. Despite my concerns with form, day two went off mostly without a hitch.
Day three was the first day I really felt any kind of genuine soreness. I woke up aware of my abs and the aching only grew worse when I actually tried to complete the workout routine. I know exercise regimes are often more successful when you give your body time to rest and recover (and time for your muscle to build), but I didn’t think I would have to apply the same principles to a ten minute workout. Nonetheless, I powered through and found that my abs were generally feeling a lot tighter, and the routine itself was also going by more quickly. It definitely did still leave me tired and ready to start my day, despite the increasing ease of the workout.
Day four was the first time I started to feel like my form was improving. The donkey kicks (and last move of the routine) had always been an easy ending note, which I took advantage of by doing them largely half-hardheartedly. Today, I felt like I was really giving them my all with thoughtful stretching and tensing all the way through. I was also able to multitask sort of successfully today, actually watching the TV show I had put on rather than feeling actively sorry for myself throughout the 11-minute ordeal.
Day five was a drag. I really, really, really did not feel like doing this workout. Even though the exercises themselves were becoming easier, finding the motivation to make time for them was becoming a lot harder. I felt like because I had been consistent with the routine I deserved a day off, and because my abs were feeling generally more tensed, I felt like I had the luxury to take one. Despite this flawed headspace, I forged ahead and completed the routine. It definitely wasn’t as good of a run through as the day before, and it felt like I’d resorted to doing the exercises as poorly as I had on day one. My real crunches relied heavily on my arms for momentum, and I definitely let my feet hit the ground at least once during the bicycle crunch section of the routine (which I hadn’t even done on day one!). With motivation still low and a weak attempt overall, I finished day five feeling worse than when I had started.
On day six the general soreness started to feel normal and didn’t hinder the workout. After yesterday’s low, I tried to get myself in the right head space before I even started the workout. I looked at Kendall Jenner’s Instagram for some fitness inspiration and binge-watched Youtube videos of people running marathons until I felt capable of tackling the routine in earnest. Because of this, day six was a definite high point. I felt strong throughout the routine and didn’t watch anything for a distraction, instead focusing on each move and making sure I was as tense as possible. I even enjoyed doing my favorite moves (the Russian twists and bent-knee jackknives), making it a great workout day. I even ran later that evening to capitalize on the positive workout momentum.
While I wish I could say I finished loving my body and this workout, day seven was really just okay. I was getting bored of the routine and wished I had chosen a more varied workout plan for the week. Plus, my abs ached and I knew doing the same exercises once again probably wasn’t helping much at this point. Overall, my form was definitely better and I felt stronger than the first few days. I can’t say it was totally empowering though, as I rushed to finish the 11-minute regime and mostly just felt relief that it was over.
While I’m glad I undertook this challenge, a week isn’t long enough to see any definitive results, and Kendall Jenner’s ab routine should probably be paired with regular cardio if I ever expect to see visible results. The week had a lot of lows between feeling sore, weak, and unmotivated, but I did feel my abs were tighter in the end and I was ready to find a new workout plan for the future.