Sometimes we just do not have enough time to get a full work out in, or only want to get our heart rate up for a short amount of time. Here is a perfect core work out to get your heart pumping and your abs strengthening in a short time.
- Get into a push-up position on your elbows instead of your hands. Hold your core tight and be sure not to arch your back or curve it toward the ceiling- you want to maintain the straightness of a plank with your whole body while you are doing the exercise. Only your toes and forearms should be touching the ground. Stay up as long as you can during that minute and get back up if you come down from the plank at any point.
- For a variation for injuries or first timers, do the plank from your knees instead of your toes, but still maintain the straight-as-a-board positioning.
- From a normal crunch position, sit all the way up until your elbows touch your knees. Slowly come back down until your shoulders touch the ground and then begin again.
- Same as above but instead of elbows touching the knees of the same side, make a turn with your upper body at the top of the sit up and have the opposite knee and elbow touch. Be sure to do both sides throughout the minute.
- Lay flat on your back and place your hands under your hip bones or buttocks. Lift your legs 6 inches off the ground and use that point as the bottom of the leg lift. From their, lift your legs another 6 inches to a foot then lower back to 6 inches off the ground. Repeat.
- Go into a crunch position with your legs off the floor and at 90* with your body (as in the picture above). Kick one foot out at the same time that you turn your body and touch the opposite elbow to the knee still close to your body. Switch sides and kick out the other leg and twist to hit the other elbow to the knee that has returned to you. It should look and feel like you are riding a bicycle in a laying position.
- Try to keep your shoulders off the ground the whole time and bike in a fluid motion.
- When you work your core, you have to also work your lower back. Lay flat on your stomach and simultaneously lift your chest and legs off the ground (as though you were superman flying).
Do each exercise for a minute (as many as you can do in that time). Take a 20 second break to transition to the next. Push each minute as hard as you can (great for all fitness levels). Repeat 3 times.
*If you have even less time, decrease the intervals to 30 or 45 seconds and the transitions to 15 seconds.