I create my workouts to serve you – the woman who wants to workout at home so no one see’s her, and also wants to see results without working out for long periods of time. You are busy, you have kids, there are 10 other things you could be doing other than working out…so let’s make it quick! This workout specifically is a core workout, so we are here to build a strong core, learn how to properly breath and engage the core, and we are doing it in under 20 minutes. You don’t need fancy equipment or specific space, you can even do this one in your living room while you watch tv, no shoes or shirts required!
This workout is going to use your bodyweight as equipment. So no weights, no bands, nuthin’. Core workouts are easily made difficult just with your bodyweight and holding. I think sometimes we assume that we need weights to progress, and that the harder the exercise, the better it is for you. When in reality, it just comes down to how good of a contraction you get and your ability to keep your core pressure regulated.
If you go to do a sit up and you look down and see a bulge in your stomach – it could be down the midline, could be your whole core as a whole coning up, or even just one specific spot bulging..this is not good. This means you are not regulating your intra-abdominal pressure (IAP). This pressure is just regulating your breathing so that your inner core unit (the transverse abdominis) is actually working correctly. if it isn’t and you are doing movements that are too advanced without figuring out the breathing part, you are going to cone/bulge.
The key is to breath through the diaphragm (not the chest or belly) and as the air exits, you focus on engaging the core behind the air escape, almost like you are zipping up your core. If you find that through this you are unable to still regulate your IAP, I would then find a course or video on learning diaphragmatic breathing and how to properly engage your core. because you can do core workouts all day, but if you aren’t regulating that pressure and doing it correctly, you could be doing more damage than good.
This workout is under 20 minutes! So in the amount of time of taking a full shower (you know, washing your hair and shaving your legs), watching an episode of the Office, or even a walk around the neighborhood. Ya’ll, it takes minimal amount of time to get in a good workout, if you do it right. It doesn’t have to be an hour, it just has to be effective!
Any fitness level is welcome to do this workout – I offer modifications for all exercises so you can make it easier or harder, so you can check those out below.
This workout is a giant circuit – which means we are going to complete 5 different exercises right after each other, and complete 3 rounds!
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This is a great foundational movement because it really gets you working on the inner core unit, instead of focusing on a big contraction. Most people resort to crunches or sit ups because they assume you need that squeeze, but you don’t!
Form: Start laying on your back with your knees bent in table top. Arms are straight and reaching up towards the ceiling. Press your low back into the floor to engage the core, and take opposite arm/leg slowly towards the floor and come back in. This will be a slow and controlled movement – so making sure you pause at the top before switching sides. Breathing is in as you extend, and out as you pull in.
Modifications: To make this easier you can bend the legs and just reach your heel towards the floor instead of straightening your leg. This will shorted the “level” and make it easier. If you want to make it harder you can hold small dumbbells in your hands, or even a band to add some resistance.
Hip dips are going to work your oblique muscles. So we know we have the rectus abdominis in the front, but we also have obliques on the sides. These are used for any kind of side bending, but also rotations as well.
Form: Start by laying on your side – you want to be propped up on your elbow. Elbow should be stacked under the shoulder, and then legs straight so your body is in a straight line (feet stacked or staggered). Pick your hips up to get into a side plank position (keeping the chest open to the front) – then you are going to slowly reach your hip down towards the floor, and then drive back up to the plank, squeezing at the top.
Modifications: To make this easier you can drop down to the side of your knee instead of your feet. To make it harder you can elevate your feet on something small.
A slow movement that you want to make sure you maintain form and breathing during. I know sometimes it is easy to get caught up in getting the movement over with, but slow and controlled is really the name of the game when it comes to core strength.
Form: The starting position is a pushup – so wrists are stacked under the shoulders and back is in a nice straight line to your toes. Making sure nothing moves but your leg – you want to drive your knee towards opposite elbow, and then kick it straight back behind you. Again, nothing but your leg moves, so don’t try to crunch towards the knee, and don’t arch your back as you kickback.
Modifications: Making this one easier looks like dropping to your knees and just kicking a foot back slightly to elevate the knee. To make this one harder you can elevate your feet on something so you are at more of a decline angle.
A great stability movement, but is only difficult/working if you are doing it correct. So slow it down and make sure you push yourself, because there is a very easy way to cheat through this one!
Form: Start in a plank position on your elbows – elbows stacked under the shoulders, and back flat to your toes. You also want to make sure you are pushing up through your shoulder blades and engaging your core, almost as if you are tucking your pelvis under. Then you are going to point your toes and push your body way over your elbows, and then push back with your elbows so your shoulders go behind your elbows. It is almost like a seesaw going back and forth!
Modifications: To make this exercise easier you can elevate your hands on something and limit your range of motion. To make it more difficult you just increase your range of motion, the further you go in each direction the more challenging it is going to be.
Another great oblique exercise, and it isn’t going to hurt your wrists or joints being in a pushup position longer. Just lay on your back and feel the contraction.
Form: Start by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Press your low back into the floor and raise your shoulder blades off the floor (with your arms at your sides) then you are going to bend and reach to touch the right foot, and then back to center before going to the left side. Again, you want to make sure you are properly contracting, so don’t just speed from side to side, focus on the muscle group and adjust if you need to.
Modifications: There is no easier modification. To make it harder you can elevate your feet in table top position and still shift from side to side.
Make sure you are warming up and cooling down before every workout. I know it seems time consuming, but it really helps to get the body ready for exercise, but also make sure you get the most out of your workout. If you don’t warm up the specific body parts, you are going to be halfway through your workout before you ever get a true muscle contraction. Not to mention working out with cold muscles could cause an injury, which if you are just getting starting, is not something you want to hold you back from making progress.
But I hope you enjoyed this sweaty full length core workout, and are ready to try something else next go around! Don’t forget, this is your one stop shop for all things at home workout and wellness related. Feel free to share this blog on social and spread the sweaty word!
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