MOVEMENT – POWER UP

Core Moves You’ll Love to Hate

By 24Life

Everyone loves the way strong abs look and the way a strong core feels (especially when they’re lifting a heavy suitcase or kid), but core workouts are possibly everyone’s favorite workout to hate. This core workout might change your mind, with moves that pack an extra push to make them different and—dare we say it—fun!

WARM-UP

(Perform each move for 45 seconds.)

Bird Dog

  • Begin in a tabletop position with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
  • In one move, bring your right hand out in front of your shoulder so your arm points straight in front of you as you extend your left leg behind you, pointing your left toes away from you.
  • Keep your core braced to keep your spine long and back flat as you hold.
  • Release and repeat with your opposite arm and leg.

Plank to Down Dog

  • Start in an extended plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, creating one straight line from head to heels.
  • Lift your hips toward the ceiling and come onto your toes into Down Dog, pressing your chest toward your thighs and keeping your legs straight.
  • Hold for a second, then roll your hips back toward the floor to come into plank. Repeat.

WORKOUT

(Perform each move for 30 seconds, repeat three times, resting 30 seconds between sets.)

Hollow-Body Hold to Reverse Crunch

  • Begin lying on your back with your hands at your sides and your feet together.
  • Bring your hands over your head and hover your feet off the ground in a hollow-body hold, bracing your core and driving your lower back into the ground.
  • Bring your arms down toward your sides as you reverse-crunch your feet toward the ceiling, bringing your hips off the ground.
  • Repeat this sequence.

Plank With Shoulder Tap

  • Begin in a high plank with your hands under shoulders and your toes on the ground, forming one long line from head to heels.
  • Brace your core and bring your right hand up to tap your left shoulder. Place it back on the ground.
  • Bring your left hand up to tap your right shoulder. Place it down and repeat, alternating hands. Don’t rotate through your core. Maintain your plank.

Side Plank With Crunch

  • Lie on your right side with your elbow under your shoulder, your forearm on the ground in front of you and your right knee on the ground, right foot behind you.
  • Place your top leg out straight, foot on the ground, and your right hand behind your head, elbow bent.
  • Hold your side plank as you bend your top knee toward your chest and crunch your right elbow toward your right hip.
  • Straighten your top leg and return to side plank. Repeat, then switch sides.

Down Dog Pike With Opposite Ankle Reach

  • Start in an extended plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, creating one straight line from head to heels.
  • Lift your hips toward the ceiling and come onto your toes into Down Dog, pressing your chest toward your thighs and keeping your legs straight. As you come into Down Dog, bring your right hand toward your left ankle.
  • Touch your ankle and then roll forward back into plank. Repeat, bringing your left hand to your right ankle as you pike to Down Dog. Come back into plank and repeat, alternating hands.

Three-Beat Crunch

  • Begin in a supine position with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent and hands on your thighs.
  • In three movements, slowly crunch up, creeping your hands up your thighs to knee height.
  • Slowly lower down and repeat.

COOL-DOWN

(Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.)

Child’s Pose With Side Stretch

  • Start on your hands and knees with your feet together and your knees apart.
  • Walk your hands out in front of you and bend at your hips until your head comfortably touches the floor. Press your hips toward your feet and your chest toward the floor.
  • Hold the stretch and then walk your hands to the right, stretching your left side body.
  • Hold and then walk your hands back to center, then to the left, stretching your right side body.
  • Hold and then return to center.

Cobra Stretch

  • Begin in a prone position with your hands next to your chest, your elbows bent and the tops of your feet facing the floor.
  • Push through your hands as you lift your chest up, bending slightly through your back, and stretch your abdominals. Your head can come back slightly.
  • Hold and then release back down.

Video credit: Videoblocks
Photo credit: fizkes, Thinkstock; Mark Kuroda, kurodastudios.com
Hair and make-up: Katie Nash, katienashbeauty.com
Model: Ayuka Iwasawa, 24 Hour Fitness

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