Good morning! I hope you are having a great start to your Thursday.
Today I wanted to share an extremely quick, yet effective workout that is all about the core.
I actually put this one together for a client who asked for a 10 minute ab workout she could throw in after one of her cardio days. With a strong core in mind, I focused on a series of exercises that specifically target the abs, obliques, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.
This workout can be added into your routine after a run or even right before you hop in the shower. Grab a light dumbbell, a medicine ball (if you have it), and complete this circuit burner in the gym or in the comfort of your own home!
Exercise Breakdown and Videos
(Sorry for the lack of photos in these exercise breakdowns lately…)
(I have to really be in the mood for all of that editing. Soon again, I promise!)
• sit-ups with a medicine ball (or dumbbell)
Decide where you want to hold the resistance, if you have any, and perform a sit-up.
Get on the floor in a sit-up position: back and feet flat on the floor with your knees bent to a ninety degree angle. Cross your arms over your chest or hold your medicine ball or weight on your lower abdominals, your chest, or overhead. This is your starting position. Tighten your glutes and hamstrings as you sit up, then slowly roll back to the starting position.
Repeat for 15 reps.
(or, if you prefer: bird dogs)
This is one of my favorite bodyweight exercises to work the abs, lower back, booty, and thighs.
It forces you to work on balance and stability by using opposite sides of the body. You can choose your level of difficulty for this one by starting on the floor with your chest pressed against a mat, then gradually move up to all fours, and eventually all the way to a straight arm plank.
If you’re on your knees, make sure your knees are directly under your hips and your hands are directly under your shoulders to start. With a tight and tucked core, extend your left arm straight front and your right leg straight back. Aim to get both limbs completely straight, hold for about five seconds and then switch sides.
Repeat for 15 reps per side.
Start on the floor with your lower back pressed into the mat or floor. Contract your core muscles. Place your hands on your head and keep your elbows wide. Lift your right knee to about a 45 degree angle.
Rotate your chest so that your left elbow touches the right knee. Slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion and alternate touching your elbows from side to side.
Repeat for 15 reps per side.
Start by lying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. They should be about hip-width apart. Arms should be resting by your sides with the palms facing the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips and hold the position for about 2-3 seconds. Stay on the heels of your feet and keep squeezing your glutes. Slowly lower your hips without touching the floor and repeat for 15 reps.
• side plank rotations (with dumbbells)
I love side planks and include them in the majority of the at-home workouts I put together! Side elbow planks are challenging as it is, but adding a twist or raise with resistance really takes this exercise to a new and challenging level!
Start in a side elbow plank on your left side. Keep your legs straight and feet stacked on top of one another. The modified version of this exercises is to unstack the feet by putting one in front of the other or placing the bottom knee on the ground. Make sure your elbow is directly under your shoulder and keep your weight there.
Once you’re in your side plank, grab a dumbbell and “thread the needle” by reaching through (under) and across your body, and then open up and raise your weight towards the ceiling. I like this video demonstration, but I do think he opens a little too far. I stop twisting when my hand is in line with my shoulder.
If you don’t want to use the weight, opt for a side plank with a twist. Place your right arm behind your head and inhale. Keeping your core locked tight, rotate your chest towards the floor and bring your right elbow towards your left hand and exhale. Return to starting position for one rep.
Complete 12 reps, then switch sides.
If you decide to give this workout a go, please let me know how you liked it. I always welcome feedback, and would love to know your thoughts in order to help me with future workouts I share on the blog.
Thanks, and I’ll see you back here in just a bit!
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routines. <3