Be Well Workout of the Week: Reimagine Your Core Workout

A no-crunch core workout to kick off your week.

What is your core, exactly, you ask? Well, the core is made up of much more than just the abs on the front of your body. It is made up of muscles on the front, back, and sides of the torso, and muscles that connect the upper body and lower body that are responsible for stabilizing the body. A strong core helps generate power, strength, and stability during not only exercise, but all movement throughout the day. In other words, your core is super important.

So this week’s workout is going to target — you guessed it! — your core. But not with your typical core exercises. Read: You will find no crunches here. Still, when doing these exercises you want to make sure you’re always engaging your core. Think about squeezing your belly button in toward your spine, dropping your shoulders and engaging your lats, and tucking your hips under before beginning any movement. This will put you in a good position to make sure you’re getting the most out of each move.

Your orders are simple: Go through the below circuit three times. And voila! You’ve completed your totally reimagined core workout.

Be Well Workout of the Week: How to Rethink Your Core Workout

Instructions: Repeat circuit 3 times
5 pull-ups
10 hanging knee raises
15 push-ups with left leg lifted
20 lunge with twist (10 on each side)
25 plank shifts
30 superman with arm haulers
25 boat pose with arm pulse
20 plank with alternating arm and leg lift
15 push-ups with right leg lifted
10 side plank with twist (10 on each side)
5 lateral squat walk with press

Explanations of exercises:
Click links for how-to videos. 

Pull-ups: Suspend yourself on the pull-up bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up, keeping your body as straight as possible, until your chest reaches the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. (If you’re struggling with pull-ups, try these alternatives instead.)

Hanging knee raises: Hanging from pull-up bar, use your abs to bring both knees up to touch (or get as close as you can) your right elbow, then repeat on the left side.

Push-up: Start lying face down with your chest on the floor, with hands facing forward and palms down in line with your shoulders; elbows should be pointing back. Push up until arms are extended (the inside of the elbow should be facing forward) and drop back down.

Lunge with twist: Holding a weight or medicine ball out in front of you with straight arms, step into a lunge with your right food and twist your torso and the weight to the right. Return to standing and lunge with the left foot while twisting to the left.

Plank shifts: Get into a plank on your elbows and toes. Pressing from your toes, shift your body straight forward and pull your body back. Forward and back is one rep.

Arm haulers: Lie on your stomach with your forehead on the mat and arms reaching forward. Lift your arms, chest and legs off the mat so only your abdomen is touching; keep everything lifted the entire time. As if you’re doing the breaststroke, sweep your arms out and to the sides. Bring them close to the body, then stretch them forward again to touch. Repeat.

Boat pose with arm pulse: Sit on ground with knees hugged into chest. Lean back and reach legs straight out, keeping them lifted off the floor. Extend arms parallel to the ground and pulse them up and down.

Plank with alternating art and leg lift: In a high-plank on your hands, lift right arm and left leg, put them back down, then lift left arm and right leg.

Side plank with twist: In a side plank on your right side, feet stacked on top of each other, reach left hand up to the ceilin then twist left hand and torso toward the floor, reaching your left hand around to tap your right lat. Hold for one count then reach it back up to the ceiling.

Lateral squat walks with press: Standing in a squat position, holding a weight with both hands, step to the left and press the weigh out in front of you. Step your right foot toward your left, bringing the weight back to your chest. Repeat for 10 reps on the left, then do reps on the right.

» Want more sweaty workouts? Check out the BeWOW archive here.


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every week right here on Be Well Philly.

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