Everyone raves about washboard abs—but your core is so much more than a vanity project. It literally supports your every move, whether you realize it or not.

This workout takes less than 30 minutes, requires only a medicine ball, and will specifically enhance your core strength by creating variability in the muscles and connective tissues of the core. The core is made up of the muscles, joints and connective tissues of your trunk and hips. Since your feet and hands play huge roles as drivers of motion, using your arms and feet will transmit force through your trunk and hips.

Some of the benefits of this workout include the following:

  1. Develop connective tissue resiliency in the hips and trunk.
  2. Create stability and mobility of the spine.
  3. Challenge the muscles that make up the core.

Instructions: Perform all moves one at a time. Pay particular attention to the rest time. The rest is very important to providing the right amount of time to be fully recovered. Do not attempt this workout in a circuit format.


Run or Jog
Reps/duration: 60 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest
Sets: 3

Go for a run or jog. This is a great way to connect your feet and body together while capturing energy from the ground.


Plank With Side-to-Side Medicine-Ball Roll
Reps/duration: 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest
Sets: 3

  • Begin in an extended plank position, hands under shoulders and toes on the ground, with a medicine ball between your hands. Take a wide stance with your feet.
  • Roll the ball from your left hand to your right hand while trying to remain still through your trunk. Keep your body strong from head to toe like a piece of iron.
  • Pretend the ball is a hot potato. Move that ball quickly from side to side.


Side-Plank Starfish
Reps/duration: 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest
Sets: 3

  • Begin on your right side. Stack your left foot on top of your right and come into side plank, with your right elbow pressed firmly into the ground, directly under your shoulder.
  • Keep your body straight from head to heels. Bring your left hand up toward the sky, stacking it directly over your shoulder, as you lift your top foot up to be parallel to your hip.
  • Release your arm and leg back down. Repeat, and after 15 seconds (or about five reps), switch to the other side and continue for a total of 30 seconds (15 each side).

Supine Get-Up With Medicine Ball
Reps/duration: 60 seconds of work, 60 seconds of rest
Sets: 3

  • Lie on your back with a medicine ball balanced over your right shoulder in your right hand.
  • The goal is to stand up while maintaining balance of the ball on top of your hand. Keep your eye on the ball as you lift up through your trunk and prop yourself up on your left arm.
  • Keeping the ball balanced directly over your right shoulder, bring your right foot under your right hip and begin to stand up, bringing your left knee under your left hip and lifting off the ground to come to standing.
  • Reverse the move to return to lying down.

Forward Lunge With Arm Chop
Reps/duration: 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest
Sets: 4

  • Begin standing with your feet under your hips, holding a medicine ball out in front of your chest.
  • Step your right foot forward and come into a lunge, both knees at 90 degrees.
  • At the bottom of your lunge, rotate through your core to bring the medicine ball down and outside your front right knee in a chopping pattern.
  • Rotate the ball back up in front of your chest, press through your front heel to return to stand and repeat, alternating legs.

TIP: Remember to keep your back straight and brace your core when you chop your hands. This deceleration drill is great to activate the core musculature in the abdomen and lower back.

Front Squat With Medicine-Ball Chest Press
Reps/duration: 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest
Sets: 3 

  • Begin standing with your feet wider than your hips, holding a medicine ball at your chest.
  • Sit your hips back and down to lower into a squat, stopping your hips at knee height.
  • At the bottom of the squat, press the medicine ball out and away front your chest until your arms are fully extended.
  • Bend your elbows to bring it back to your chest, and press through your heels to stand. Repeat.


Prone Cobra
Reps/duration: 60 seconds
Sets: 1

  • Lie on your stomach and prop yourself up on your elbows. Tuck your toes under so they are on the floor.
  • Look straight ahead or tilt your head back and look to the sky. You should feel this stretch out your abdominal wall. Hold the stretch.

Photo credit: Artem Varnitsin, Adobe Stock
Video credit: Tom Casey, box24studio.com
Model: Brooke Walsh, personal trainer