Life doesn’t follow a weekly training schedule. Prime example: I started writing this post at the beginning of October and planned to publish it two Wednesdays ago. The first sentence read, “Although my days of competitive running and regimented training are over (for now…) I still try to follow somewhat of a schedule when it comes to my exercise.”
I can’t help but smile at that because my workouts have been anything but planned these past few weeks. I still exercise at least once per day but I fit runs, cross training and classes in whenever I can and decide what to do depending on what I feel in the moment. Regardless, somehow Wednesday has stuck as one of the days during the week that I always do core and strength work, no matter what. Normally, I run on Wednesday mornings and then get into work early so I can leave in time to make it for a late afternoon barre class at Barrevolution. Today I decided to put off running in the early morning cold for another day and flipped my routine to try a 6 a.m. barre class before work and run at the end of the day when things warmed up.
However, on days where I can’t quite make it out of work in time to catch a fitness class, or I just really feel like heading home once I close my computer, I conjure up my own core workout to voluntarily torture myself. One of my go to routines for when I want a good sweat involves six straight minutes of plank variations.
If you are looking for a tough ab workout that you can easily do at home without any equipment, give this one a try! Fair warning though: if you’re like me, you will be screaming by the end of this. No really…my cat likes to sit with me when I do exercises at home and she ends up running off every time because I start riding the struggle bus real hard by the end.
To make this workout a bit more peppy, play some pump up music! I am the worst with keeping up with current music so no judgement but this is my favorite mix to listen to during this workout. It lasts almost the whole six minutes and provides major nostalgia for 2009.
The routine is below. Go at your own pace to make sure to get the most of the workout by practicing good form. Aim to flow from one movement to another, never coming out of plank, however you can also easily make adjustments as needed and break up the routine in 2 or 3 minute increments. Also, I apologize in advance for the names I give the moves. They make sense in my head, but feel free to call me out if something seems totally weird. You will want to use a watch or phone timer to keep track of when the six minutes is up and to time your front and side planks.
1 minute of forearm plank
20 reps of step outs – alternate tapping each foot to the side; this is a modified version of a plank jack.
20 reps of hip twists – rotate your body and tap one hip to the ground before returning center and going to the other side.
30 seconds of forearm side plank on your left side
10 reps of reach unders – twist your body and reach your arm under your opposite side towards the ground.
20 reps of hip dips – tap your hip straight down to the ground and back up again.
*Repeat the last three exercises on your right side.
20 reps of mountain climbers – move into high plank and alternate drawing each knee straight in towards your chest.
20 reps of knee twists – repeat, but this time draw your knees to the opposite elbow.
20 reps of spidermans – repeat again but draw your knees to the same elbow. You will probably feel like a frog during this one!
6 reps of up downs – this one is the final killer! Move into forearm plank by putting your left arm down and then your right and come back into high plank by coming up one arm at a time as well.
Hold that high plank until the 6 minutes are up – the amount of time you have left will fluctuate depending on how long the routine takes you.
SMILE! You are done!
Here’s a cheat sheet to look at or save for later:
Let me know if you try this routine! Any feedback is welcome as this is my first time sharing one of these workouts. How else do you like to work your core? Share in the comments below!