If you can find five minutes to squeeze in a core workout, I’ve got a quick and effective one for you to try.
#1: Choose an intensity level for your core workout
Level 1: perform each exercise for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.
Level 2: perform each exercise for 45 seconds, and then rest for 15 seconds before moving onto the next exercise.
Level 3: perform each exercise for 60 seconds, and then move directly onto the next exercise as quickly as possible.
#2: Set a timer for your desired intervals. Looking up at a clock can compromise your form.
#3: Perform each of the exercises below in order for the amount of time indicated in step 1.
Note: No matter what intensity level you choose, do not rush through the exercises. They are to be performed with control and precision. This isn’t a workout where you’re trying to see how many reps you can do in a given amount of time.
Exercise #1: High plank with arm reaches
Note: Try to keep your hips squared up to the ground when reaching your arm out.
Exercise #2: Rotating plank (forearm plank to side plank, rotating from side to side)
Note: When rotating into the side plank, try to keep your hips lifted.
Exercise #3: Back Extension with a Lat Squeeze
Note: Keep your abdominals engaged while lifting your arms and legs off the ground. Contract your lats by pulling your elbows down by your ribcage, as if you’re doing an invisible lat pulldown.
Exercise #4: Bird/ Dog Crunch
Notes: Try to keep your hips as stable as possible. When you pull your knee and elbow towards one another, imagine doing an upside down crunch.
Exercise #5: Slow Motion Mountain Climbers
Notes: Try not to move your hips up and down like you do when performing a regular mountain climber instead use your abdominal muscles to stabilize the torso.
This post originally appeared on Women’s Running where I blog weekly.