So before anyone calls me out for not having the best form in these pictures, just keep in mind that superman planks in the sand are really freaking hard…
When I know I have a super busy day and will only be able to fit in a quick run, I’ll do five minutes of core work before I head out. Doing some sort of strength training before cardio actually increases the number of calories you burn during that cardio session. Do I think a five-minute ab workout is going to make a big difference? No. But I like getting a little burn in beforehand—it leaves my abs feeling more engaged during the run, and even if it’s all in my head, I feel like I’m getting an overall better workout in during a busy day.
5-Minute Pre-Cardio Ab Workout
Equipment I Used:
- 15-lb weight
- Exercise mat
I switch it up with the five minutes of ab work I do, but here’s one sequence I particularly like. Do each move for 1 minute. Don’t take any breaks between exercises! So that I didn’t have to look at a clock, I just set my Gymboss Interval Timer to 5 rounds of 60 seconds of work (and 0 seconds of rest).
- Weighted Sit-Up into Russian Twist: I used a 15-lb weight for these. Start laying down with knees bent and feet elevated. Hold your weight to your chest and do a sit up. Twist your torso, bringing the weight to one hip and then across your body to the other hip. Bring weight back to chest and lower. With each sit-up, alternate the side to which you first twist.
- Elbow Plank: Hold it for the whole 60 seconds.
- Butterfly Crunch (Left, Center, Right, Center): Lay on your back with legs spread (feet together) in the butterfly position. Crunch up to the left, center, to the right, back to center. Continue.
- Alternating Superman Plank: Start in a plank position. Simultaneously lift your right hand and left leg, extending both straight out. Return to plank position and repeat, lifting left hand and right leg. This is a great core exercise because your back is engaged, too.
- Bicycle Crunch: Lay on back, hands behind head. When you crunch up towards your bent left knee, your right leg should be extended out and not touching the ground. Switch sides, crunching over towards the right with your left leg extended. Continue in a fluid, cycling motion.
Is five minutes going to make you look like a supermodel? No, probably not. But this is a great routine to throw in with some cardio on a busy day.