This abs and core workout consists of seven exercises. Each exercise is done for 40 seconds, with a rest period of 20 seconds. There is a one minute rest between each round. There are 3 rounds (thus by the end of the workout you will have done each exercises 3 times). The first round is doable but you’ll surely be feeling it by the end of the third round! I used the intervals pro timer to track the work and rest periods.
Skip this post and head straight to the follow-along workout video HERE.
1. Bird Dogs
Position yourself on all-4s, with your hands on the floor in line with your shoulders, and your knees in line with your hips. Raise your right arm forward and left leg back at the same time, until they are both parallel to the floor. Bring them back down to the starting position.
Then, raise your left arm and right leg off the floor until they are parallel to the floor. Return to the start position. Continue alternating, remembering to lift the opposite arm to leg each time. Engage the core and focus on stabilising yourself. You can do this by making sure your hips (and rest of body) are as still as possible. I found a straight-forward article on Popsugar about engaging the core. They even use suggest trying the Bird-Dog exercise for practice.
2. Dead Bugs
Dead bugs are essentially bird-dogs, except upside down. Lie with your back on the ground, arms raised in the air directly above the shoulders, and knees up and bent at 90 degrees.
Lower the right arm towards the floor behind your head (keeping the arm straight) and the leg leg down towards the floor. The leg should not touch the floor, but remain slightly above the ground. Return to starting position and then repeat the move with the left arm and right leg. Keep alternating. By performing the moves slow and controlled and avoiding any hip rotating, you’ll realise just how much the abs and core are engaged.
This is my favourite of the abs and core workout because you don’t need to go fast, but you’ll feel the burn! You may even find the coordination a challenge for the mind, so it’s great that after a bit of practice you will have trained your brain.
3. Russian Twists
Depending on your fitness and strength level, there are different variations you can do, as well as adding weight. Sit in a V shape. You can keep your knees bent and feet on the floor. Twist your torso side to side, as though each time you are reaching for something behind you. That way, you should feel in your side abs, AKA the oblique muscles.
4. Basic Crunch
Lie with your back on the mat and knees bent with feet on the floor. Tuck forward slightly. You do not need to sit all the way up. Move down to the starting position, and repeat. Your arms can be bent behind the head, crossed over the chest, or reaching for the knees.
5. Pilates Bicycle Crunch
I haven’t come across the proper name (if there is one) for this move, but it’s done a lot in Pilates and you really feel the abs here. Similar to a normal bicycle crunch movement, the difference is that you will stay up in the basic crunch position for the duration of the exercise. So like the basic crunch, roll up slightly and engage the core. Stay in this position while you alternate legs from your chest out and down towards the floor.
6. Butterfly Crunch
The butterfly crunch is like the butterfly stretch, only there is a crunch involved. With your feet together, let your knees fall out to the sides. The space between your legs may look somewhat of a diamond shape. From here, perform the basic crunch by rolling up slightly. Keep doing crunches will your legs are in the butterfly position. If you want, you can maintain the butterfly position, but raise it into the air.
7. Pilates Bicycle Crunch
Repeat step 5.
I hope you enjoy this abs and core workout. Remember, throughout each move, to breathe in during the rest phase and breathe out during the execution.