12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Core


Day 3 of this workout series is all about the core, and the last of the targeted routines (the next two will be full-body). Btoners–do you recognize that blue wall?? 😉 Speaking of Btone, I’m subbing in the North End tomorrow evening 6:20 & 7:15 and there are a couple machines still open–come burn it out with me! Now back to this 12-minute bodyweight tabata …

12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Core

This workout is made up of three tabata supersets. For each tabata superset, set an interval timer for 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. During the work intervals, you’ll alternate between the two exercises. In other words: 20 seconds Exercise 1 / 10 seconds rest / 20 seconds Exercise 2 / 10 seconds rest and so on. Rest as needed between tabata supersets, but try to limit it to 60 seconds if possible.

12-Minute Bodyweight Core Tabata Workout -- this workout is broken up into three 4-minute tabata supersets

Tabata Superset 1

Mountain Climbers | These are like doing high knees in a plank position. Start in a plank, hands stacked underneath shoulders, core squeezing in tight (don’t let your low back sag or your butt stick up in the air). From this position, drive one knee at a time up towards your chest, like running horizontally. The pace on these should be quick.

V Ups | Start on your back with arms stretched overhead and legs hovering just slightly above the ground. Pull your abs in tight and press your low back to the ground. You’ll then crunch up, bringing your hands towards your toes (keeping legs and arms straight). When done correctly, your body will make a “v” shape as you crunch; this means you’re not just reaching your arms up, your chest needs to move towards your knees. Lower back down to starting position. If possible, your feet should never touch the ground between reps.

Tabata Superset 2

Plank Jump Jacks | Start in a plank position with hands aligned underneath shoulders. Jump both feet up towards your hands and then quickly back to a plank. Then jump feet out to the sides (like a horizontal jumping jack) and quickly back together. That’s one rep. When doing the “jack” part of this move, try to hold a strong plank alignment with your upper body—don’t let your butt pike up into the air or hips sag downward.

Bicycle Crunch Sit Ups (alternate) | Start laying on your back with your hands lightly behind your head, elbows bent out to the sides and chest open. Engage your abs, pulling your bellybutton down to the floor as you lift your legs off the ground about six inches to a hover. This is your starting position. From here, bend your right knee in towards your chest as you crunch your left elbow across to meet it, lifting your shoulders off the floor like a twisting sit-up. Your left leg should remain outstretched in a hover as you do this. Slowly return back to the starting position and continue, crunching in the same direction the entire time. The goal is to keep the legs off the ground the whole time, but if you need to modify, your left heel can quickly rest on the floor in between reps. Each round isolate one side (so you’ll do two total 20-second intervals on the right, two on the left, alternating between the two).

Tabata Superset 3

Side V-Ups (alternate) | Start laying on your side, balancing on that bottom hip/side butt area with your bottom hand on the floor in front of you for support. Top arm is bent with hand behind your head and elbow out wide; legs should be extended and hovering off the ground. This is your starting position. From here, you’re going to crunch up and in, keeping your legs straight as you lift your torso up and in to meet them so that your sidebody forms a “v” shape. Use that bottom hand for support, but try to push off it minimally. Slowly lower back down and extend back out to a hover. Each round isolate one side (so you’ll do two total 20-second intervals on the right, two on the left, alternating between the two).

Clapping Bike Crunches | With your low body, think bicycle crunch. Start laying on your back with your legs extended straight out, hovering a few inches off the floor. From here you’re going to crunch the right knee in, keeping the left leg extended out at a hover. As you do this, crunch your upper back off the floor, clapping your hands behind the right thigh. Extend back out to starting position and then do the same thing to the left. Finish the combo by crunching both knees in together and wrapping your arms around them to once again clap behind your thighs. The purpose of the clap is to force you to really crunch and keep your shoulder blades off the floor.


WEARING | Lululemon tank (old–browse their current selection of tanks here) // leggings c/o Lucy (old–browse their current selection of leggings here) // sneakers c/o Reebok

Ok so I know I said I was going to post five workout videos in five days but I’m going to extend that by a couple days and instead share the next one of this series on Friday and the final one on Sunday. Five videos in seven days is close enough, right? 😉



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  1. Love these tabatas, Nicole! So happy you’re on YouTube! Thanks!!

  2. This looks like a great one! I’ve bookmarked it so that I can give it a try next week.

  3. Desperately looking for new things to do so this came in super handy!!!

    Leah // http://www.sunmoonwars.com

  4. Thank for you Nicol I’m very happy for your works blogg.

  5. Brandi Robertson says:

    I don’t know if any one will read this, but I need some advice. I had a C-section 10 months ago, 3rd child, and feel as though I no longer have any lower ab strength. When I was doing the V sit ups I was feeling it more in my quads then in my lower and. Is there a way I can modify this until I can get more strength? Thanks.

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