Weighted Core Workout (Time Pyramid)

20-Minute Weighted Core Workout

Are you guys sick of core workouts? I know I post a ton, but the reasons I love them are many:

  • It all comes back to the core. Even when you’re isolating the legs or arms in an exercise, your core is working — they do attach there, afterall! Core strength and stability leads to better posture and alignment, reduced back pain, better control of the extremities and so much more.
  • Your form in other exercises improves if you have a strong core. Continuing my first point, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my ability to properly do exercises like push ups, deadlifts–the list goes on–as my core strength has improved.
  • Core workouts are great to pair with cardio. Especially with the long runs I’ve been doing for marathon training, I love having quick(er) core workouts on hand that don’t exhaust the legs.
  • It’s personal. My stomach (low belly specifically), has admittedly always been a bit of a frustration for me. Everyone’s body distributes weight differently (yay genetics), and that area happens to be the last place from which I lose fat. I swear if I gained 10 pounds, 8 of them would go to the five inches below my belly button. Something that’s helped me accept and love this part of my body is focusing on what it can do rather than how it looks. Sure, you can’t see a six pack, but my core is strong AF and I’m damn proud. I love working to improve my core strength and function!

Weighted Core Workout (Time Pyramid)

Equipment I Used:

This workout will take you 20 minutes to complete. You’ll go through the circuit three times, each time through reducing the amount of time spent on each exercise. Here’s a breakdown:

60 seconds each exercise (no rest between exercises)
Rest 60 seconds
45 seconds each exercise (no rest between exercises)
Rest 60 seconds
30 seconds each exercise (no rest between exercises)

The flow of the workout is a method used on the megaformer: Focus on one side of the body, center the work, focus on the other side, center. 20-Minute Weighted Core Workout

Thread the Needle Plank Rotation RIGHT | Start in a plank position with hands underneath shoulders, right hand gripping the dumbbell. Once you start the movement, you won’t return to this position (dumbbell won’t touch floor again). Rotate your body open to the right, dropping your heels so that you’re on the edges of your feet in a staggered side plank position. As you do reach the dumbbell up to the ceiling. Twist back to center plank, rolling back to the balls of your feet and squaring your hips as you wrap the dumbbell through the space between the floor and your chest, reaching it across your body to the left side of the room (like you’re giving yourself a one-arm hug). Reverse the movement, rotating back open into side plank, extending the weight back up to the ceiling.

This one will work both sides of your obliques (right as you twist through center threading the needle), left as you twist open and support your bottom sidebody. I always feel it more in the side holding the weight though.

Russian Twist Sit Ups RIGHT | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Holding a dumbbell 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 shoulder blades off the ground and bring the weight up and over to the right of your legs. Twist through your waist as you do this, stopping the weight a couple inches off the ground and then extending back out, lowering to starting position. Repeat, crunching and twisting in the same direction the whole time.

The goal is to never bring the legs and/or med ball to rest on the ground when you extend out and crunch up.

Side Plank Row and Leg Left RIGHT | Start in a side plank position, right hand stacked under right shoulder, dumbbell in left hand (start with a straight left arm, weight held a few inches off the ground. From here, row the left elbow straight up towards the ceiling, bringing the weight up towards your upper ribs/armpit. As you do this, lift the top left leg up to a hover (without letting your hips sag down!). Pause at the top and then lower the weight and leg back to starting position.

Even though it’s the top left arm and leg that are moving, the right obliques are targeted as you work to keep the hips lifted in the side plank position.

Weighted Sit Ups (weight to chest) | Simple move, yet so challenging! Start laying on you back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hips width apart. Hold a dumbbell at your chest. From here, you’re going to do a sit up, crunching your shoulders then full back off the floor, bringing your chest in towards your knees. The challenge? Keep the dumbbell touching your chest the entire movement and keep your feet touching the ground.

You’ll be tempted to extend the dumbbell out in front of you to facilitate the sit up. Your heels may want to lift to a hover. Don’t let either happen! I’ll actually flip my grip on the weight so that i’m holding it secure into my chest and don’t have the option to extend it away.

Thread the Needle Plank Rotation LEFT

Russian Twist Sit Ups LEFT

Side Plank Row and Leg Left LEFT

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 shoulder blades 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. 20-Minute Weighted Core Workout

WEARING | tank c/o New Balance // Lululemon leggings (old but you can shop their current selection here) // Nike Flex Supreme TR 3 sneakers (on sale now … kinda–like $5 off haha)

Housekeeping

Shop and save for a cause!

ToeSox is offering my readers 15% off any purchase with code pumpsandiron. A portion of the sales go to my Boston Marathon fundraiser benefiting the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired. The code expired tomorrow afternoon so if you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, get shopping! 😉

Lokai SnapChat Takeover

Tomorrow I’m taking over Lokai‘s SnapChat! I’ll be sharing some at-home workout moves and a yummy smoothie bowl recipe. Follow along @livelokai!

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12-Minute Bodyweight Core Workout

12-minute-bodyweight-core-workout-10Hi there! Remember me? I can’t believe it’s been over a week since I posted to the blog, but if you’ve been reading my marathon training updates you’ve probably gathered that I am just completely overextended right now. This time next month, my teaching schedule will be reduced by more than half (8 classes a week instead of 20) which is a very necessary move for me. Until then, I’ll ask that you just bear with less frequent posts. Yo’ girl is exhausted!

12-Minute Bodyweight Core Workout

Go through the following circuit twice. You’ll see that you alternate between 60 seconds of movement and 30 seconds of an isometric hold. 12-minute bodyweight core workout -- perfect for doing at home!

60 sec | Marching Plank Push with Crossbody Crunch (right)

Start in a plank position, wrists stacked under shoulders. From here crunch your right knee into your left elbow (try to make physical contact if possible!). Step the right foot back to plank and then lower onto your right forearm (keep your left hand planted right where it is, bending into that left elbow so that you can lower). As soon as your right forearm hits the ground, push into the left hand to press back up to straight arms in your starting plank position. Try to keep your hips level as you do this marching plank. To achieve that, you’ve got to bend into the stationary arm (don’t keep your left arm straight as you lower onto the right forearm). Go right into your next cross body crunch. This will target the right oblique and left arm.

30 sec | Side Forearm Plank (right)

60 sec | Full-Body Crunch

Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. 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 shoulder blades off the ground and bring hands towards your shins (as if you’re hugging your knees). Extend back out, lowering to starting position. The goal is to never bring the legs to rest on the ground when you extend back out.

30 sec | Hollow Hold

You basically just hold the bottom position of the full-body crunch for these. To get into the correct position, start laying on your back with your hands under your bum for support. Press your belly button down towards the floor and extend your legs out straight, hovering them off the floor a couple inches. If you’re a beginner, stay here. To advance the hold, you’ll then remove your hands from under your bum and bring them overhead.

60 sec | Marching Plank Push with Crossbody Crunch (right)

30 sec | Side Forearm Plank (right)

60 sec | Swimmer Pulls

Start laying on your stomach with arms and legs outstretched. Engage your posterior so that hands and feet are hovering off the ground a few inches. This is your starting position. From here, bend your elbows, pulling them back behind you as you squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift your chest and legs even further off the ground. Extend arms back out straight to a low hover.

30 sec | Rest

12-minute bodyweight core workout -- perfect for doing at home!

WEARING | Fabletics top // bra c/o Lululemon // leggings c/o Eddie Bauer

Enjoy the rest of your day! I actually shot video footage for this workout that I’m editing right now (I have literally no clue what I’m doing haha). I hope to post a little preview to my Facebook page later today. The goal is to (very soon!) post real-time workout videos to YouTube and quick previews to Facebook that demo each of the exercises. Woop!

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SHOP A SIMILAR LOOK:

Hill Pyramid Workout with Strength Training Tabatas

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)Hello from Maine! I’m up at my parents’ place enjoying a final morning of beautiful views before heading back down to Boston. There’s no phone service up here and I only get wifi at a couple places in town so it’s a forced unplugging that I need once in a while. 🙂

Hill Repeat Pyramid with Strength Training Tabatas

The running part of this workout is as hard as you make it–if your hill is long/steep, it’ll be a doozy. If you want more of a quick cardio blast in between the tabatas, pick an easier hill length/grade. I did this outside in the North End between teaching classes Friday on a short but steep hill (it probably took me 25 strides to get from the bottom to the top).

The hill sets get shorter and shorter as you go. First set = 5 repeats; next set = 4 repeats; all the way down to one. Sprint up the hill and jog down. If you’re doing this on a treadmill, you’d just reduce the incline and speed in between each sprint.

In between each hill set, you’ll do a tabata superset that focuses on the core and upper body. A tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. You’ll alternate between two exercises in each tabata. For example, 20 seconds of marching plank, rest 10 seconds, 20 seconds of push ups, rest, and so on for a total of 4 minutes. Full detailed breakdown below the image.

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)

HILL REPEATS x5

TABATA 1

  • Marching Plank | You’re essentially just moving from low plank to high plank, up and down. Starting in a forearm plank position, press up into a high plank, one hand at a time. Reverse the movement when you’re in a high plank, lowering onto one forearm at a time.
  • Push Ups | I’m working on push ups with my hands close to my body rather than wide (because I’m bad at them and they need improving!) so I did them like this: Start in a plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, roll forward slightly onto your toes so that your hands are now a little further back, aligned with your ribs (this will allow you to bend elbows to 90 degrees). Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower down to a low push up position and then press through your hands to rise back up, straightening your arms.

HILL REPEATS x4

TABATA 2

  • Full-body Crunch | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you wrap your arms around your knees like a wide hug. Extend back out, lowering to starting position. The goal is to never bring the legs to rest on the ground when you extend back out.
  • Triceps Pulses | Start sitting down with legs outstretched and palms pressed to the ground by your sides. From here, press into your heels to lift your butt up a couple inches and forward a couple inches so that there’s space for you to bend into your elbows, pulsing your body up and down. Keep your elbows pointing straight back when you do these; don’t let them bow out to the sides.

HILL REPEATS x3

TABATA 3

  • Forearm Plank | Most of us are familiar with a plank, so just a couple form queues: think of stacking your joints, elbows directly below shoulders. Pull the lower abdomen in to protect the low back (think of pulling up your jeans’ zipper). Squeeze the quads above the knees—notice how engaging these muscles helps straighten out your body even more. Tuck the tailbone slightly and then fire up the entire abdomen by pulling the forearms and balls of feel in towards each other (you won’t actually move, you’ll just contract the muscles). Need more explanation? I did a whole post on common plank form errors).
  • Low Push Up Hold | For this, I want your hands close in to the sides of your body (tricep push up). To get into the hold with proper alignment, start in a plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, roll forward slightly onto your toes so that your hands are now a little further back, aligned with your ribs (this will allow you to bend elbows to 90 degrees). Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower down to a low push up position and hold there with your body hovering off the ground, abs held in tight.Modify by holding the push up from your knees. Just make sure your hips are still lowered so that your butt isn’t sticking up into the air. Think of lowering from your knees rather than your hips to achieve this.

HILL REPEATS x2

TABATA 4

  • Mountain Sliders (alternate) | Start in a plank position with wrists aligned underneath shoulders, abs engaged and spine straight. From here, lift your right leg and bend your right knee in towards your right wrist, making physical contact if possible. From this starting position, you’re going to slide your knee up and down your arm, zipping it towards your armpit as you pull your abs in and round your back slightly up towards the ceiling (think of a mini-cat stretch) and then sliding it back down to the wrist. At the bottom, you want the knee at a hover; try not to rest it on the floor. The goal is to keep the knee lightly touching your arm the whole time, but just keep the knee pulled in as close to the arm as possible.
  • 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, bending your legs and bringing your knees in towards your top elbow as you lift your torso up and in to meet them. Use that bottom hand for support, but try to push off it minimally. Slowly lower back down and extend back out to a hover.

HILL REPEATS x1

Get 15% Off My Outfit with code PUMPS15

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)The leggings and sweatshirt I’m wearing in today’s post were given to me by my friends at ALALA (. I love them! This is my second pair of their leggings and the fit and function are great. The material is shinier (more spandex-y, if you will) than, for example, Lululemon leggings, so they’re great for sweaty workouts. You only need to be traumatized by butt sweat showing up in a group fitness class once to agree with me that this is an important detail to include in an activewear review. I’d finish that sentence with a “LOL” or “haha” but I’m currently having flashbacks to the time I taught a row class in dark pink Fabletics leggings …

(I really like Fabletics leggings BTW, but for yoga and Pilates–would only wear the *black* ones for cardio).

Anyway, ALALA performance aside, the design is so on-trend. The print with sheer panels on the leggings is perfect and THE FISHNET THUMB HOLES on the hoodie–don’t even get me started. I feel like I’m both a trendy fitness instructor and an 80’s rock band member.

ALALA skews on the pricier side of the athleticwear spectrum, so I’m excited to give you all a code for 15% off: PUMPS15 Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body) Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)

Enjoy the last bit of your long weekend for all those who have the day off today!

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