Ahh yes, core workout! The muscles everyone wants to show (6 pack abs) but no one wants to put in the work to grow. Your abdominal muscles are like any other muscle group, you have to train them in order to get them to be bigger and stronger! I will say, this workout is not going to give you a visible 6-pack (unless you have dialed in your nutrition). What it will do is give you a great foundation for a strong core and help you to get one step closer to that desired look. Your core muscles are used for everything! They are engaged during compound movements, sitting and standing, posture, bending and leaning and so much more! A strong core is important for all daily activities, because without our core we would just be slumped over all the time and not be able to stand up straight. So, WORK YOUR ABS and you can start with this core workout for 6 pack abs that can be done ANYWHERE!
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◊ Leg lifts
◊ Plank hip drops
◊ Walk ups with jump back
◊ Russian Twists
◊ Deadbug (straight legs)
◊ Plank (DL jump next to hands)
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Full Video available on YouTube
A core exercise people have been doing ALL WRONG for ages. If you feel this movement in your legs/hip flexors…you’re doing it wrong. All muscle engagement should be in the lower abdominals.
Form: You do NOT need to drop your feet all the way to the floor for this one, in fact, it is probably better that you don’t. Lay with your back flat on the floor and feet straight up in the air. Focus on the core as you slowly lower your legs towards the floor. As soon as you feel your low back start to lift off, reverse your direction and bring your legs back up in the air. As you get stronger you will be able to lower your legs down further, but at the beginning your hip flexors will want to take over and that is NOT what we want.
Modifications: No modifications here, just simply changing your range of motion with make things easier or harder.
Plank hip drops
Great core exercise for the trunk as a whole! It works all the muscles that engage during a plank, and the muscles that help rotate!
Form: Start out in a plank on your elbows (back flat, core tight, shoulder stacked on elbows), you want to slowly rotate and touch your right hip to the floor and then come back to center. Repeat on the left side. Switch back and forth between the two and make sure you are keeping your core engaged and hips low.
Modifications: You can drop down to your knees and do it from that position! This is a great place to start and work up to getting on your toes. You an also come up and do the plank on your hands to make it more difficult!
Walk ups with jump back
This movement is going to work everything from your shoulders to your core. It is important to make sure that you are staying STRONG in these movements and always thinking about proper form.
Form: Start in a high plank position (on hands and toes), with your wrists tacked under your shoulders and your back flat. Take small little steps (keeping legs straight) and walk your feet towards your hands (using your core to pull your butt up in the air), and then when you get as close as you can to your hands you jump back into your starting position. Make sure when you jump back into your starting position that you keep your core tight and your hips don’t sag when you jump back, STRONG CORE.
Modifications: An easier way to do this is to just step back instead of jumping. And to make it more difficult you can jump your feet in instead of walking them, but still making sure you are focusing on your core.
This exercise is great for the transverse abdominals, but beware of your form because this one is easy to just go through the motion without focusing on the engagement.
Form: Sitting on your butt, leaning back with your feet off the ground, you are going to twists from side to side. During this you want your core tight and back flat, so don’t round that back to try and keep yourself upright, you need to keep your chest up. When rotating from side to side, you want your head to follow your hands to keep a neutral spine.
Modifications: Easier version: keep your feet on the ground and don’t lean back so far. Harder version: keep your feet off the ground and lean back. The further you lean back the harder it is going to be.
A great movement for transverse abdominals. One that doesn’t look like it is going to be difficult, but it sneaks up on you!
Form: Lying flat on your back with your legs straight and arms towards the ceiling. Press your low back to the floor as you reach opposite arm and opposite leg towards the floor (without touching) and then come back to starting position. If you feel your low back lifting off the floor, do not drop your leg/arm down so far. You want to make sure you go slow and reset before extending your arm and leg.
Modification: To make things easier, you can limit your range of motion when extending your arm/leg. To make things harder you can hold a stability ball or medicine ball between your arms/legs to add more stability work!
Plank (DL jump next to hands)
This one is going to work your obliques and your heart! This is another movement that you need to focus on engaging the core and not just getting the movement done.
Form: High plank position on your hands, again. Keeping your core tight, jump BOTH feet up towards the outside of your hands and then back to plank position. As always, wrists are under the shoulders and back is flat.
Modifications: Instead of jumping you can just step up towards the hands and back to high plank. Increasing your speed or duration with make things more difficult.
You may not think so, but warming up AND cooling down for each workout is so important! We, I included, are guilty of skipping these steps when we are in a time crunch, but there are so many more benefits to including this in your workout. Benefits of warming up and cooling down include:
〉Increase blood flow to muscles
〉Increase energy released in the muscles
〉Increase/decreasing breathing and heart rate
〉Helps remove lactic acid to decrease muscle soreness
Check out other workout blog posts for sample warm up and cool down exercises!
DONE and DUSTED! Great workout today, now go fuel up with good/clean nutrition! Check out the protein shake by Primal Kitchens, great for a post-workout meal or when you’re in a crunch!