A few of my favourite core moves are below, but if you’d like more detailed descriptions you can also check out these posts:
Workout 1: You will need a BOSU and medicine ball.
3x, 30-60s rest between each set:
- 12 BOSU crunches (rounded side up)
- 30 Russian twists: On BOSU (rounded side up), holding medicine ball. Knees slightly bent and feet hover just above ground.
- 12 BOSU plank-to-push-ups: In plank pose with forearms on BOSU (rounded side up), lift left forearm and place left hand on BOSU. Then lift right forearm, placing right hand on BOSU. Arms should be straight, as if you are going to do a push-up (you can do one if you want!) Move back into plank pose, and repeat sequence 12 times.
Workout 2: You will need a stability ball, 2 dumbells (10-12lbs) and weighted plate or dumbell, appx 10-12lbs. Repeat circuit as many times as you like, resting for appx 30-60s between sets.
- 12 complete floorwipers: Laying on ground with a dumbell in each hand, shoulder width apart, point knuckles straight up to ceiling. Legs are straight, hovering just above the floor. Lift legs up and towards the left dumbell. Lower until heels are just hovering above the floor, then lift legs up towards the right dumbell. Lower to hover. That’s 1 rep. Repeat sequence 12 times
- 12 crunches on stability ball: Holding plate/dumbell straight up to the ceiling
- 10 stability ball knee crunches: In pushup position with feet on stability ball, draw knees towards chest, rolling the ball towards chest with your feet. Extend legs back out, then drive knees inward towards your right side. Extend, then drive knees inwards towards left side. Repeat entire sequence 10x.
Workout 3: Flatten Your Belly Workout – No equipment needed!
This core workout is my version of the Women’s Health Flatten Your Belly program. It is meant to be done on alternate days for 3 weeks. If you’d like to do it too, check out the website for information about how to do each move. I am currently working on weeks 1-3, and this is what I’ve been doing:
3x through circuit, resting 15-30s between moves
- 60s plank, regular plank pose
- 60s plank on left side
- 60s plank on right side
- Glute bridge march (lying on back, hips lifted forming a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lift left knee up to ceiling, towards chest. Lower and repeat with right knee, then lower hips. Repeat for total of 10 reps.)
- Lunge with rotation, holding a dumbell in front and twisting it to the sides. 15 reps each side.
For weeks 4-6:
- Plank with arm lift, reaching forward and holding for a couple of seconds, repeat 5-10 times each arm.
- Side plank with rotation: Non-supporting arm reaches under torso, then up to ceiling. 10 reps on left side, then switch supporting arms and do 10 on the other.
- Hip-Thigh raise: Similar to the glute bridge march from weeks 1-3, but one leg stays straight and lifted, while hips move up, pause, and back down. 15 reps each side.
- Reverse lunge with single arm overhead dumbell press: Arm on same side of body as the backward-lunging leg pushes up as leg lunges back.
Workout 4: You will need a Bosu, 2 dumbells, and a medicine ball.
Do all 3 exercises, take 30-60s rest, then repeat 2 more times.
- 20 reaching crunches (legs crossed and at 90 degrees to the floor – well, not quite 90 degrees… my hamstrings just don’t do that.)
- 20 floorwipers (holding 12lb dumbells in each hand laying on your back, lifting legs together, first upward towards the right dumbell, then lowering legs until just above the ground, then back up towards the left dumbell.)
- 25 Russian twists on the Bosu ball with a medicine ball
Workout 5: A crunch-free workout. For all exercises, refer to this post.
Workout 6: You will need a Pilates ball (These are about 5″ in diameter and come in weights between around 2-5lbs. Use one to suit your fitness level.) If you don’t have one, use any weighted object that can be easily passed from hand to hand.
- Sitting on the floor with knees bent at 45 degrees and back and thighs forming a V-shape, hold the weighted ball with both hands directly in front of you. Lift feet slightly off the floor. Take the ball into one hand, and keeping both arms straight, move them to the sides, parallel to the floor. Bring arms back together in front of you, and pass the ball to the other hand. Repeat until you have passed the ball 25 times.
- Plank – Hold this position for as long as your fitness level allows. Start with a target of 1 minute, then aim to add another 15s each time while maintaining proper technique.
Workout 7: No equipment required.
12 regular crunches
- Oblique crunch (right): In regular crunch position with hands resting next to ears, use obliques to bring your left knee and right elbow together. Lower and repeat on the same side for 12 reps.
- Extended oblique crunch: Repeat the exercise above on the same side, but straighten the left leg and right arm. Lift your leg and arm and reach for your left toes with your right hand. Lower and repeat on same side for 12 reps.
- Oblique crunch (left): 12 reps
- Extended oblique crunch (left): 12 reps
Finish with 12 more regular crunches.