Try This At-Home Core Workout

May 16, 2012

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Is your core workout simply adding a few Crunches to the end of your routine? If so, you aren't doing nearly enough.

The core includes the muscles around the entire body from the upper thighs to the chest. A strong core enhances both sports and everyday movements such as pulling, pushing, twisting, rotating, lunging and reaching. Your balance and stability are also augmented with a strong core foundation. Yet for many athletes, total core training still takes a back seat.

Core training should be a major part of your workouts. You should establish a strong core before you even think about performing traditional exercises such as the Bench Press and Squat.

The core exercises below are a great way to develop a strong foundation. Best of all, they can be performed in the comfort of your home. Perform three or four of them toward the end of your workout on non-consecutive days. If you want to perform just this workout, warm up beforehand.

Feet-Elevated Plank to Side Plank

  • Assume plank stance with feet on chair or bench; hold for 30- 60 seconds
  • Rise onto hands to assume push-up position with feet on chair or bench; hold for 20 seconds
  • Walk hands toward feet and raise hips to form inverted V
  • Walk back out to push-up position; repeat five times
  • Rotate to right and rest on right elbow to assume side plank position; hold for 30-60 seconds
  • Repeat on opposite side

Sets/Reps: 1-3xcircuit

Side Chops

  • Assume athletic stance, holding eight- to 10-pound med ball with arms extended overhead
  • Rise onto toes
  • Bend at hips and knees; slam ball at left ankle
  • Catch med ball; set up and repeat on right side
  • Continue in alternating fashion for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1-3x10 each side

Wood Chop and Twist

  • Assume athletic stance holding med ball directly overhead
  • Simultaneously bend hips and knees; slam med ball on ground
  • Catch med ball and hold with arms extended at shoulder level
  • Rotate torso to right; return to center
  • Rotate torso to left; return to center
  • Raise med ball overhead and repeat
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1-3x10

Superman

  • Lie on stomach with arms and legs extended
  • Lift chest and legs off ground; slightly arch back
  • Hold for five seconds and return to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1-3x10 seconds

Multi-Directional Lunges

  • Assume athletic stance holding med ball with arms straight in front of chest
  • Perform side lunge; return to start position
  • Perform 45-degree lunge; return to start position
  • Perform lunge; return to start position
  • Perform reverse lunge; return to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1-3x10 each way

Med Ball Russian Twist

  • Sit on ground with knees bent and heels just off floor; hold med ball at chest
  • Rotate left until ball touches ground outside hip; rotate right until ball touches ground outside hip
  • Repeat pattern continuously

Sets/Duration: 1-3x30-60 seconds

Finish the core workout with a cooldown comprising static stretches, including the Cobra Stretch, Butterfly Stretch and Knees-to-Chest Stretch. Hold all stretches 10 to 15 seconds.

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
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