The best core workouts will work the center of your body from all angles. You want to hit those six-pack muscles in the front but also the deep transverse abs below them, your obliques on the sides, and your lower back. Engaging all those areas from a variety of different positions is "the key to being able to stabilize and move your body in a strong and efficient way," said NASM-certified personal trainer Heather Flottman of Bach Fitness. A strong core can help you avoid pain and injury throughout your workouts and your day-to-day life, she explained.
Heather created this full core at-home workout to do everything you need, targeting each core muscle and incorporating both isometric (static) and dynamic exercises. "Isometric holds allow you to build strength and focus on fine-tuning form and the mind-muscle connection," Heather told POPSUGAR. "Dynamic exercises contract and lengthen muscles via movement." Put them together, and the end result is this quick, efficient workout that'll strengthen your essential core muscles.
15-Minute Bodyweight Full Core Workout
Equipment needed: A mat or comfortable floor.
Directions: Complete the following exercises in a circuit, finishing the reps for each move before moving on to the next. When you complete the last exercise, return to the start and repeat the full circuit again for two full sets. Each isometric hold transitions immediately into a dynamic exercise; once you finish the dynamic exercise, you can take a short (15-20 second) break or continue straight into the next exercise. Your timing and reps depend on your fitness level:
For beginner: Hold each isometric move for 30 seconds. Do 10 reps of each dynamic exercise. For intermediate: Hold each isometric move for 45 seconds. Do 15 reps of each dynamic exercise. For advanced: Hold each isometric move for 60 seconds. Do 25 reps of each dynamic exercise.
Hollow body hold
Extended dead bug
Bird dog hold
Bird dog crunch
High boat hold
Long arm Russian twist
Keep reading to see exactly how to do each move, then grab your timer and get moving!