15-Minute Towel Core Workout

15-Minute Towel Core Workout - a mix of sliding plank work and kneeling core exercises

Today’s workout is a mix of sliding plank work and kneeling core exercises. It’s broken up into blocks so that the upper body gets relief here and there from holding a plank position. The structure admittedly looks confusing, but I promise it’s not. And that’s the beauty of this whole YouTube thing–just follow along with me as I do it!

If you’re a megaformer lover, this workout has your name written all over it.

As with all workouts, make sure to warm up beforehand. Always listen to your body and modify when needed.

Towel Core Workout


So I messed up right and left a little in the video (rookie mistake!). The whole straight-on mirror image vs. profile view screwed me up so just make sure to do as I say not as I do (only the case during Block 3).

15-Minute Towel Core Workout - a mix of sliding plank work and kneeling core exercises

Block 1

Do each of the three exercises for 30 seconds. Do that twice, resting for 15 seconds in between.

Bear | Start in a plank position with your feet on a towel. 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.

Plank to Pike | Start in a plank position with your feet on a towel. 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.

Combo Bear + Pike on Forearms | Combo the two moves down on your forearms.

Block 2 (right)

Do each of the three exercises for 30 seconds. 

Mermaid | Come to a kneeling position with your left knee down and your right leg extended straight out to the side. You want your left hip stacked over the left knee. Grab the towel by it’s ends and extend your arms straight up overhead. From here, lean over to the left, lowering your torso so that it forms a diagonal line with your right leg–if you can comfortably go lower, do so. Lift back up by contracting the right side obliques.

Mermaid Twist | Same position as the previous exercise, you’re just going to bend the elbows out wide, bringing the towel behind your head so it’s out of the way (you could also just ditch it–not important here). Lowering your torso so that it makes a diagonal line with your outstretched leg, twist towards the floor and then back to face forward. You stay low as you twist, wringing out your waist like a wet washcloth.

Mermaid Pulses | In the same position as the previous two moves, extend your top arm up towards the ceiling, hold your torso at that low diagonal and pulse up an inch and down an inch.

Block 3 (right)

Do each of the three exercises for 30 seconds. Do that twice, resting for 15 seconds in between.

Twisted Bear | In a plank position, feet on a towel, hands stacked under shoulders on an exercise mat, cross your right foot in front of the left with toes pointing towards the left. You’ll twist through the waist, slightly lowering your right hip to do so. This is your starting position. From here, start bending your knees in towards your left elbow, sliding your feet forward. When you’re in as far as you can go, slide the feet back out, straightening your knees back into your starting position. As you do these, try to keep your hips level with your shoulders (don’t sit your bum onto your heels as you slide the feet in; engage your right sidebody to keep them lifted).

Twisted Pike | In a plank position, feet on a towel, hands stacked under shoulders on an exercise mat, cross your right foot in front of the left and drop your heels so that you’re heel-to-toe with toes pointing towards the left. You’ll twist through the waist, slightly lowering your right hip to do so. This is your starting position. Maintaining this leg position and keeping your knees straight, pike your hips slowly up into the air. When you’ve reached your peak, slowly lower back down to that twisted plank starting position. 

Combo Twisted Bear + Pike on Forearms | Combo the two previous moves down in a forearm plank position (right foot still crossed in front of left).

Block 2 (left)

Block 3 (left)

Finisher

One move, 30 seconds. The purpose is to center the core work and stabilize (I hate ending on one side of the body!).

Over-Under Towel Crunch | Start sitting on your tailbone holding the towel by its ends outstretched in front of you. Legs are extended out straight and hovering a few inches off the floor, torso is leaning back at an angle. Crunch your knees and chest up and in towards each other and as you do, scoop the towel under your feet. Extend back out to starting position, now with the towel under your legs. Continue crunching, bringing the towel over and under your legs as you go.

15-Minute Towel Core Workout - a mix of sliding plank work and kneeling core exercises

WEARING | leggings c/o Sweaty Betty (old but shop current selection here) // Lucy tank (old but shop current selection here)

Since this workout is like a megaformer ab series without the megaformer (kinda?), I figured I’d share my teaching schedule next week for any local readers/Btoners–I’m subbing a ton!

TUES 5:45 AM / 6:40 AM / 7:35 AM / 12 PM North End

WED 6 AM / 6:55 AM / 7:50 AM Back Bay

THURS 6 AM / 6:55 AM Back Bay + 6:20 PM / 7:15 PM North End

FRI 6 AM / 6:55AM North End

SAT 8 AM / 9 AM Back Bay

Sign up for a class HERE! And no one text me after 8:30 pm next week … I’ll be sleeping. 😉

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Standing Core Workout

Standing Core Workout - this 20-minute workout will challenge your core stability with standing ab exercises

I’m using a medicine ball for today’s workout, but you could use a dumbbell or other weighted object if you don’t have one. I’m calling this a core workout, but your arms and legs will be feeling it as well–especially if you use a heavier weight. There are two bodyweight exercises thrown into the circuit purposely to give your arms a little breather in the event upper body fatigue is hindering the core work.

While I wouldn’t say this workout is “easy” (the first two sets especially are tough!), I’d consider it easier than some of the other core workouts I’ve shared. It’s a good one if you’re a beginner (just chose a light med ball or even just bodyweight) or have mobility impairments preventing you from comfortably getting down to the floor for crunches and other supine ab exercises.

20-Minute Standing Core Workout


Equipment I Used:

  • Medicine ball (I shot the workout with a 6-lb med ball because it’s all I have at home but would have liked to challenge myself with a 10-lb–next time!)

The structure of this workout is a time pyramid. Each time you go through the circuit you’ll stay on the exercises for less time. Here’s the breakdown:

60 seconds each exercise
60 seconds rest
45 seconds each exercise
45 seconds rest
30 seconds each exercise
30 seconds rest
15 seconds each exercise

Try not to rest in between exercises. Only rest as specified above (after a full set). In total, this workout will take you 20 minutes to complete. The goal is to complete as many reps of the exercise as possible in the specified time interval. That being said, never sacrifice proper form for the sake of speed!

As with all workouts, make sure to warm up beforehand. Always listen to your body and modify when needed.

Standing Core Workout - this 20-minute workout will challenge your core stability with standing ab exercises (follow-along video included!)

Marching Front Chop | Start standing with arms straight, med ball held overhead. Keeping your arms straight, you’re going to chop the ball down in front of you as you lift one knee up towards it (as if you were going to spike the ball off your knee). Raise the ball back overhead as you lower the foot back to the floor and repeat on the other side.

Crossbody Woodchop RIGHT | You want a wide stance for this one with both feet pointing forward. With the lower body, I want you to think side lunge; with the upper body think of tracing a diagonal line with the medicine ball.. Start with the legs straight, med ball held in straight arms up and overhead to the left (you want your torso twisted so that you’re facing the left side of the room). Keeping the arms straight, chop the med ball down towards your right foot as you bend into the right knee (remember, think side lunge) and twist to face the right side of the floor. Reverse the movement back to the starting position.

Crossbody Woodchop LEFT

Standing Bicycle Crunch | Start standing with feet a little wider than hip’s width apart, chest open, fingertips behind the ears and elbows out wide. From this starting position, you’re going to crunch the right elbow down and across your body to touch the opposite knee, which you’ll bend and lift up towards it, squeezing your low abs. Don’t worry if you can’t make physical contact between the knee and elbow; focus on pulling your core in tight and just get them as close as possible. Return to starting position and repeat to the other side.

Torso Twist to Front Chop in Lunge RIGHT | Start in a lunge position with your right foot forward; ball of the left foot planted behind you. Feet should be hip’s width apart (you’re not walking on a tight rope–you want a stable base!). If joint mobility allows, you want to find a 90-degree bend with the front knee. Hold the med ball at chest height, arms straight in front of you. Keeping the arms straight, twist towards the right side of the room so that the ball twists over the front leg. Twist back to center and then chop the ball down towards your back knee, crunching through the core to lower it. Rise back to starting position and repeat.

Torso Twist to Front Chop in Lunge LEFT

Sumo Squat Obliques Crunches | You’ll be in a wide sumo squat position the entire time with the lower body. You want a wide squat stance with your toes pointing outward; knees track in line with the toes. Chest open, have your fingertips lightly behind your head or hovering by the ears, elbows bent out wide to the side. From here, dip your right elbow towards your right knee, contracting the right side obliques. Lift upright and over to the left. As you crunch down side to side, think of staying in a single plane of motion; don’t lean forward as you dip to the side. So picture your torso is sandwiched between two walls, one against your back and one against your chest. Stay between the walls.

Side note: Every time I do this exercise I can’t help singing “I’m a little teapot short and stout…” in my head. Please tell me someone else’s mind goes to that when doing side bend motions?? 🙂

Standing Core Workout - this 20-minute workout will challenge your core stability with standing ab exercises

WEARING | leggings c/o PRISM Sport (30% off with code ACTPERRY) // shoes c/o Puma // bra c/o Forever 21 (old but shop current selection here)

It is such a game changer living in a space that’s well lit enough to shoot videos!! I’m sad I’m only here for the summer but plan on taking full advantage of that conveniently placed concrete wall next to the windows. Let’s see how many workouts I can shoot before August 31st… 😉

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12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Core

core-workout-tabata

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! 

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.

tabata-outfit

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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