Your third and final installment of this workout series! If you missed it, Monday was lower body; yesterday was upper body; and today we’ll finish with core. Again, you can do all three circuits back-to-back for a 45-minute full body workout (same structure as Burn’s Power class) or just pick the muscle group on which you feel like focusing.
Core Stacked Circuit Workout
Equipment I Used:
- 12-lb dumbbell
- Sliders (or dishtowel)
- Gymboss Interval Timer
This circuit will take you just 13 minutes to complete. You stay on each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds after each round, and add on an exercise each round. Confused? Here’s what the start of the workout looks like:
Exercise 1 + Exercise 2
Exercise 1 + Exercise 2 + Exercise 3
So the first round is only 30 seconds long (one exercise) and the sixth and final round is 3 minutes long (all six exercises). You’ll do exercise 1 (side plank dips with top crunch) six times and exercise 6 (russian twists) only once at the very end. Even though the length of time you’re working gets longer and longer, you only get 30 seconds of rest each time. I set my interval timer for 26 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest so that it beeps at me every 30 seconds, but you could also just watch the clock.
- Side Plank Lift ‘n Crunch (alternate side each round) | Start in a side plank with your right hand on the floor directly underneath your shoulder. From here, lower your hips towards the floor and then engage that right sidebody to lift the hips back up. Next, crunch your left knee in towards your left elbow while keeping your hips up (don’t let them sag down as you do the crunch—right oblique is still engaged!).
- Plank to Pike to Bear Crunch Sliders | Start in a plank position with your feet on a towel or sliders. Keeping your hips level with your shoulders, back flat, slide your feet forward, bending your knees in towards your elbows. Slide feet back out, straightening your legs into plank position. Now, keeping your legs straight, pike your hips up into the air, bringing your body into an upside down “v” shape. Try to keep your heels lifted as you do this, sliding on the balls of your feet. Once you hit your peak (if you have tight hamstrings, you may not be able to get your hips up very high—that’s ok!), slowly lower back down into plank position.
- Army Crawl | Put your feet on a towel or sliders and get into a plank with your forearms at the end of an exercise mat. Army crawl your way up the length of the mat, one forearm in front of the other, maintaining the plank position as you slide forward. When you can no longer go any farther forward, reverse the motion, crawling your forearms backward towards the starting edge of the mat. As you move, try to keep your hips level in a plank. They’ll want to dip side to side with each step of the forearms; use your core strength to stabilize them. Beginners: you can do these from your knees, just make sure to add an extra towel for padding.
- Dumbbell Toe Touches | Lay on your back with legs extended straight up in the air, feet flexed. Hold a weight in both hands and crunch up, reaching your hands towards your toes. Lower back down a few inches and repeat. To make these more challenging, you never lower all the way down; shoulders stay lifted off the floor the entire time. The hardest part of this exercise for me is just keeping my legs straight—holy tight hammies! Adding a soft bend to the knees will make these easier, but try your best to keep those legs straight.
- Dumbbell Full Body Crunch | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Holding a weight in your hands, arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you lift your shoulderblades off the ground and bring the weight up and over towards your shins. Extend back out, lowering to starting position. The goal is to never bring the legs and/or weight to rest on the ground when you extend back out.
- Russian Twist | Start seated, holding a dumbbell in both hands at your chest, feet lifted off the ground with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, core engaged, balancing on your tailbone. Twist to one side, bringing the dumbbell to the outer side of that hip; then repeat in the other direction. Really twist at the waist—you want your chest to be totally facing whatever side you’re bringing the weight.
Try this workout or use the structure of it and customize with your own favorite core exercises!