20 minute core workout (no equipment needed!)

Having a strong core is a crucial part of your physical well-being. Most people seek out core workouts to help slim their waistlines and tone their abs, however they are also a great way to prevent or reduce back pain! A strong core is the foundation for a strong body.

I teach a Core Training class three times a week and I’ve led several different workouts. However I wanted to share one of my very favorites with you all! Here are a few reasons why I love this workouts so much:

  1. it targets the entire core (aka. upper abs, lower abs, obliques, and lower back)
  2. it doesn’t require any equipment
  3. it will be sure to get your heart rate up
  4. it also strengthens your shoulders, quads, and glutes at the same time!

This workout is tabata style, which means that each circuit is 4 minutes long. During each 4 minute segment, you will “work” for 20 seconds” and then immediately “rest” for 10 seconds, and repeat that 8 times. I highly recommend you download a free workout timer app so that you aren’t wasting time looking at the clock. My personal favorite app is called “Tabata Stopwatch Pro” and it’s free and super simple to use. During each 4 minute circuit, you will alternate between 2 exercises. So for example, with the first circuit below, you will do 20 seconds of crunches and then rest for 10 seconds, and then do 20 seconds of deadbug and rest for 10 seconds. You would then repeat that for the entire 4 minutes.

Enough of that, let’s get to the workout!

Circuit #1:

  • Crunches – start lying on your back with your legs bent. With your hands behind your head, pull your shoulder blades up and off the floor and then lower back down.
  • Deadbug – start lying on your back with your legs in chair position and arms straight in the air in front of you. Alternate lowering the opposite arm behind you and opposite leg in front of you towards the ground.

Circuit #2:

  • Oblique climbers – start in plank position and alternate bringing your knee to the outside of  your body towards your elbow. Return to plank and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Bird dog – start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under hips. Raise your right arm and left leg until they form a straight line with your back. Lower back to the ground and repeat on the opposite side.

Circuit #3:

  • Toe taps – Start lying on your back with your legs off the ground in chair position. Keeping your legs bent, tap the toes of your right foot onto the ground, return to center, and repeat on the left leg.
  • Glute bridges – start lying on your back with your legs bent and feet on the floor. Squeeze your butt and lift your hips off the floor until they form a straight line with your body. Slowly lower back down to the floor and repeat.

Circuit #4:

  • Plank pikes – Start in plank position with your feet a little wider than your hips. Pike your hips up high until your body form san upside down “V”. Lower back down to plank and repeat.
  • Plank step-ins – start in plank position and step your right foot in until your knee is in line with your hip. Then follow by stepping in your left foot, and then return to start.

Circuit #5:

  • Superman – Start lying on your stomach with your arms straight in front of you and your legs straight behind you. Pulling with your lower back, life your arms and legs up off the floor. Return to the ground and repeat.
  • Side plank (see photo below) – Start lying on your side with your feet stacked on top of each other. Lift your body up and hold it in a straight line with your hand underneath your shoulder. Hold for the entire 20 seconds. Make sure to alternate sides of the body.

20 Minute Core Workout with no equipment!

Definitely give this workout a try the next time you want to work your core! If you don’t know what a certain movement is and don’t understand my description, try Googling it! I tried to make sure I used common names for each exercise so that  they would be easy to look up. I love the tabata style because you don’t have a chance to get bored since it is constantly changing.

Did you try this workout? If so, let me know in a comment below!

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