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)
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.
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.
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!