Thursday, October 9, 2014

Rock Your Core Strength Workout

Who said you need weights to strength train? These Rock Your Core: Circuit Workout moves from POPSUGAR Fitness use your balance and your body weight to strengthen and tone your core. This no excuse, simple workout will engage all of your core from your abs to your glutes and even your shoulders and hamstrings to build muscle mass. The full circuit we've put together should take you about 20 minutes.

The more lean muscle tissue your body builds, the higher your basal metabolic rate, which is one of the best ways to burn more fat throughout the day. And, not to mention, you'll feel so much stronger!

The Bird Dog

Source: POPSUGAR Studios
This move works your abs and back simultaneously, and even a little bit of inner thigh and arm strength!
  1. Start out on all fours with your hands right under your shoulders and your knees right beneath your hips. Pull your abs up toward your spine as your bring your left knee and right elbow together to meet beneath your torso.
  2. Keeping your torso stable, straighten your right arm and left leg. Reaching through your left heel toward the back of the room to engage the muscles on the back of the leg and your butt.
  3. This completes one rep. After completing 10 to 15 reps, switch sides.

Alternating Side Lunge

Source: POPSUGAR Studios
The lateral movement of this exercise is an awesome way to engage the glutes and inner thighs.
  • Start with your feet right under your hips. Step your right foot wide to the side coming into a lunge and reach your left fingers to your right foot. Important: your right knee should not extend out past your right toes. Make sure your chest stays lifted and your weight pulls back into your heels.
  • Press your weight down into your right foot to return to standing, then lunge sideways to the left to complete one rep.

Elbow Plank and Rotate

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

Planks are one of the best moves to work your whole body, and twisting just adds an extra fire to the obliques, the abdominal muscles that crisscross your core and wrap up around your waist.
  • Begin in a regular elbow plank with your feet just slightly wider than hip distance.
  • Twist your entire torso to the left reaching your left arm up toward the ceiling. Your pelvis will rotate, too, but try to keep it in line with your body. No sinking or lifting. 
  • Return to back down to the elbow plank, and repeat the twisting motion to the right for one full rep. 

Single-Leg Bridge

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

Strengthen your glutes, lower back, and hamstrings with this powerful and simple move.
  • Lie on your back, and pull your left knee into your chest, clasping your hands just below the knee. Lift your right toes up off the floor, and press your right heel down into the floor to press your pelvis and torso up toward the ceiling.  
  • Gently lower your torso back to the ground and you've finished one rep. After completing 10 to 15, repeat on the other side.

Weightless Deadlift

Source: POPSUGAR Studios
This simple exercise is a weight-free version of a deadlift, working your glutes and back, kind of like a reverse crunch.
  • Start with your feet hip-width apart, and place your hands lightly at the back of your head with elbows opened wide. 
  • Pull your abs up and in toward your spine and keep your back flat while pressing your butt backward to bend forward, careful to stop moving when your back is almost parallel to the floor. Allow a slight bend in your knees as you hinge forward.
  • Return to standing and squeeze your glutes as soon as you are upright for one rep.

Dead Bug

Source: POPSUGAR Studios
This is one of our absolute favorite moves. The name may be silly, but it engages the entirety of your core.
  • Lie on your back with a your hips lifted and knees at right angles with your palms pressed into your thighs just the knees. 
  • Pull your abs down toward the floor, keeping your ribs and pelvis contracted as you lengthen your right arm and leg out until they are almost parallel to the floor. 
  • Return to the start, and repeat on the left side to complete one rep.

Reverse Lunge With Reach

Source: POPSUGAR Studios
This move works your body's biggest muscle groups and tests your balance by adding in the side reach.
  • Stand tall with your hands at your waist and step back with your left leg into a deep lunge. Lift your left arm overhead and reach toward the right. 
  • Return to standing position, and repeat this move on the other side to complete one rep. 
What are your favorite core moves? Tell us in a comment!

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