The 20-minute workout: Nine moves to tone your core

Woman doing mountain climbers with colourful background

Working on your core doesn’t have to be a chore.

Strengthening and toning the central muscles in the trunk of your body is vital for overall wellbeing, stability and injury prevention – and it’s often an area that is neglected in full-body workouts.

You don’t special equipment, heavy weights, or a particular kind of class to target these muscle groups. You can actually do it at home, in as little as 20 minutes, with a few simple moves.

A strong core contributes to better balance, increased overall strength and more confidence in your ability to move, so taking the time to work on this area will be really beneficial.

PT and owner of Breathe Fitness Anthony Mayatt, has created a simple, nine-exercise core workout that you can do at home with zero equipment needed.

Simple home workout to tone your core

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For this workout, perform 2-4 rounds with 1 minute of rest between the rounds.

Complete the workout in this order:

Plank – 30 seconds

Bicycles – 16 reps

Leg raises – 16 reps

Mountain climbers – 30 seconds

Jackknife – 16 reps

Leg raises again – 16 reps

Side plank – 30 seconds each side

Russian twist – 16 reps

Plank – 30 seconds


30 seconds

Lay flat on your front and lift the body so either your hands or elbows are below the shoulders.

Keeping your trunk in a straight line from head to toes, squeeze the glutes and pull your shoulders together and down as if putting them in your back pockets.


16 reps

Lay on your back with hands cupped behind the ears and legs out straight.

Pull one knee in as your crunch on the opposite side trying to get your opposite elbow and knee to touch.

Return to the start and repeat on the opposite side.

Leg raises

16 reps

Lay on your back with your legs out straight and arms by your sides.

Trying to keep the legs straight throughout, raise your feet perpendicular to the floor then drive your hips upwards towards the sky.

Slowly lower the hips and return to the starting position.

Mountain climbers

30 seconds

Get into a hand plank position with hands below the shoulders.

Pull one knee towards the same side elbow, return to the start and repeat with the opposite leg.

Keep the hips down the whole time so your body is in a straight line from head to ankles.


16 reps

Lay on your back with legs stretched out in front and arms behind. Proceed to perform a sit up firstly moving the upper body and as the lower back raises from the floor, pull both knees in towards the chest.

Control the movement back to the start.

Side plank

30 seconds

Lay on your side with elbow directly below the shoulder. Raise your hips up so the body is in a straight line from head to feet holding that plank position.

Keep the glutes tight and head up throughout then repeat the same time on the opposite side.

Russian twist

16 reps

Sit upright with your knees bent. Lean back keeping a flat back till you notice the abs tighten and if your body allows, raise the feet a couple of inches off the floor.

Clasp your hands in front of your chest and slowly rotate to one side as if trying to get your elbow to touch the middle of your back.

Slowly rotate to the opposite side doing the same.

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