This Quick, 6-Move Ab Workout Will Set Your Core on Fire

Rhythmlab's Jackie Dragone shares a core circuit you can do just about anywhere.

Videos courtesy Jackie Dragone.

Look, if we’re being totally honest here, core workouts are not our favorite. It’s kind of a vicious cycle — we don’t like doing core work, so we don’t, and then our abdominals get weaker, making core work even harder and making us like it even less. But here’s the thing: we know it’s important. Having a strong core affects everything from how we run to back pain.

But core workouts that are simple, require no equipment, and we can do while streaming Netflix? Now that’s something we can get behind. Thankfully for us, Rhythmlab creator and Flywheel lead instructor Jackie Dragone has created exactly that kind of workout with this six-exercise ab circuit. Go through all six moves, then repeat the list one, two, three, four (!!) times, depending on how much time (and energy!) you’ve got.

Ready to start? Follow Dragone’s videos and instructions below.

Double Crunch

How to do it: “Lay on your back with your legs extended straight in front of you and your arms reaching overhead, with your biceps alongside your ears. From here, tuck your chin to your chest and start to engage your abs as your reach your arms towards your legs. At the same time you are sitting all the way up onto your tailbone, bring your knees into your chest. If you want a distance marker, you can reach for the outside of your ankles. Control yourself back down into the start position. For advanced, keep the feet two inches off of the floor in between reps.
How many: 12 to 15 repetitions.

Toe Reach

How to do it: “Lay on your back with your legs extended straight up (a slight bend in the knee is okay if needed). From here, curl your head, neck, and shoulders off of the ground, engaging your upper and and drawling your belly button to the spine for lower back protection. Reach your arms and fingertips towards your toes. Keeping the head up, begin to lift two inches higher, folding the ribs towards the hips. This creates a controlled pulsing motion.”
How many: 20 repetitions

Leg Lifts

How to do it: “Lay on the ground with your legs extended to the ceiling at 90 degrees. You can place your hands by your side or under your hips for more low-back support. Draw the belly button towards the spine to protect the low back and relax your head, neck, and shoulders so that there is no tension. Begin to lower the legs, (once your feel pressure or arch in the lower back, that is low enough) then return to the start position.”
How many: 12 to 15 repetitions

Bicycle Crunch

How to do it: “Lie down on your back with you hands behind your head and you elbows wide. From here, bend your right knee to your chest as your extend your left leg out in front of you, about 12 to 18 inches off of the ground. Cross your left elbow towards your right knee and then switch, pulling the opposite knee in towards your chest. Pro tip: Make sure you are not just moving your elbows and knees and that you truly rotate from your torso. Think right bottom rib to right hip bone.”
How many: 30 total, with 15 repetitions on each side

Side Plank Hip Dips

How to do it: “Starting on the ride side, get into a side-plank with your right forearm on the ground. You want to be lined up so that your elbow is underneath your shoulder; your legs are fully extended; and your hips, shoulders, and ankles are all stacked on top of each other. (If you need extra support, gently place the left hand on the floor in front of your chest.) From here, lower the hips down four to five inches and the lift them right back up to the start position with control and without losing form. You should feel this on your right side.”
How many: 24 total, with 12 repetitions on each side

Oblique Spider Plank

How to do it: “Get into a plank position, hands directly under the shoulders and feet just hip-width distance apart. From here, bring the right knee to the outside of the right elbow. Return to start position and do the other side. Pro tip: When you bring your knee to your elbow, do not change the shape of your plank. Don’t allow your hips to dip or your shoulders to twist.”
How many: 12 total, alternating sides

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