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2 Workouts for a Tighter Core

Both men and women enjoy a tight core and love the look of a cut six-pack of abs.  These workouts and/or exercises can be combined with any other muscle group during your weekly split or can be done on non-lifting days inside or outside of the gym.  Lately, I’ve been taking my workouts outside of the gym on the weekends – it’s a great change of pace and scenery to keep me interested in staying active.  If you are training abs more than twice per week, be sure you do not over train!  Along with a healthy diet, these exercises are excellent ways to burn calories and make the core burn like no other…

1. HIIT in the Gym for Time

This workout should take twenty to twenty-five minutes.  Work hard enough that you are gasping for air when finished with the exercises and just able to catch your breath before starting another round. Make sure you are warmed up to start this workout if you are not lifting first.  For example, walk on a treadmill for five minutes and then stretch and be sure you do not stretch cold muscles.

Begin by raising the treadmill to a 3% incline – Four Rounds:
30 second recovery pace run 
30 second moderate pace run
15 second fast pace run

Hop off of the treadmill and immediately go to rower machineFour Rounds:
30 seconds of rower pike (See Image Below)
30 seconds of planking knee to elbow
30 seconds of mountain climbers
30 seconds rest

Back to the treadmill and lower incline to zero (level with the ground) – Four Rounds:
30 second sprint – 30 seconds med ball v-up passing med ball from hands to feet
30 second sprint – 30 seconds med ball Russian twists (See Image Below)

image1-3.jpeg image2-2.jpeg

Some Tips:

  • While running intervals, the fast pace run should be in the ballpark of seventy-five to eighty-five percent of your full, all out sprint – because of the incline, it should way more difficult than normal running!
  • Keep as fast of a pace as possible when doing rower pikes without losing form
  • Be sure to have correct form during the pike by keeping your ears between your arms and look at your feet at the top of the pike
  • Throughout all of the exercises that do not include running, be sure to keep a fast pace that is quick enough to keep your heart rate elevated
  • Planking knee to elbow will be most effective when you butt is kept level in a plank stance – do not raise the tushy in the air to compensate when getting tired
  • If the med ball is too heavy or cumbersome to deal with, use a large ab ball that’s light weight to pass between your feet and hands while doing v-ups
  • Russian twists should be done while in the upper part of a sit-up position with your feet off of the ground while balancing on your butt – make sure to tap the ground on both sides of your body with the bed ball to complete each rep


2. Outdoor Bootcamp for Core

I enjoy going to the state park down the street from my house to do this workout, but it can be accomplished anywhere with a yard or grass and some running space.  It’s really refreshing to get outside to do workouts once a week with the weather cooling off.  Also, I’m not a huge fan of rolling around in the grass, I bring a yoga mat or towel to lay on and a ten-pound med ball.  The only piece of equipment needed is a med ball, but you will need something to use as landmarks to measure off 12 yards and 25 yards.  This workout tends to take around thirty minutes give or take, depending on how familiar you are with your surroundings and the exercises.

Begin with going for a warmup walk around the park or neighborhood for about 5-10 minutes and stretch afterwards

200-yard fast run – alternate between running forward for 25 yards and running in reverse 25 yards

24-yard inch worm – to the 12-yard mark and back.  Start by placing your hands on the ground in front of your feet and walk your hands out to a plank position, while holding the plank walk your feet up to your hands.  Keep repeating that process until you get through the entire distance. (See Image Below) 

image3-2.jpegINCH WORM

50-yard med ball twisting walking lunges – have the med ball in your hands with your elbows bent in front of you, then perform walking lunges.  But while in the lunge position make sure to rotate your torso from left to right per each lunge. (See Image Below) 


100-yard sprint – alternate between running forward for 25 yards and running in reverse 25 yards

Four rounds:
30 seconds bench leg raises – sitting on the edge of a bench, start with your heels on the ground and keep your toes pointing up, then raise the legs up as high as you can while keeping the toes flexed towards the sky 
30 seconds wipers – just like windshield wipers on the car, lay on a mat or towel on the ground, lift your legs perpendicular to your body and with your feet, while keeping your legs strait, in a controlled fashion swing your legs in the wiper motion from the left to the right getting as close to the ground in each direction as you can


30 seconds flutter kicks – these can be done on the edge of the bench or laying on the matt or towel, be sure to keep your toes flexed toward the sky

100-yard sprint - alternate between running forward for 25 yards and running in reverse 25 yards

Four rounds:
10 med ball slams - I prefer to do these on grass and make sure to really give a big effort.  Even get your legs into it a bit because the more you can give, the more you engage your core in this exercise
20 med ball woodchoppers – be sure to perform 10 reps in each direction 
10 knee to elbow crunches – for convenience, I usually set up my towel/mat on the grass close to where I am slamming down the med ball.  Right elbow to knee touch AND left elbow to knee touch is ONE rep. (See Image Below)
200-yard fast run – run forward the entire distance and use the last 50 yards as a cool down


Knee to Elbow Crunch


Written by: Samantha DiSabello
IG: sammiegirl_fitness
Email: samantha.disabello@gmail.com

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