12 Minute Core Workout
Published Nov 01, 2017, Updated Apr 19, 2019
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Whittle your middle with this quick and effective 12 minute core workout. Just 4 exercises for 3 rounds and no equipment needed!
It seems appropriate that this workout post is going live the morning after Halloween. Maybe you had a few extra pieces of candy? Or maybe you’re feeling inspired to kick off the holiday season on a healthy note. Either way, this workout is for you!
I know spot training is a myth and that doing millions of crunches isn’t going to give me a six-pack, but I still love a good core workout. Not only is core strength great for a lean midsection, it helps with posture, stability and balance. For this routine I mashed four of my favorite core/ab exercise into a quick (12 minute) circuit routine that will have your abs on fire.
12 Minute Core Workout
Set up timer or clock and do each ab exercise for 1 minute before moving on to the next. Repeat 3 rounds! If you’re just starting out and 1 minute is too much, start with 30 or 40 seconds and work your way up to 1 minute for each move!
Side plank (30 seconds each side):
Lie on your left side with your knees straight. Prop your body up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your right hand until it’s perpendicular with your torso. Your body should from a T. Brace your core by contracting your abs and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds and switch to the right side.
- Beginners: Lie on your side with your knees bent, using your knees to prop you up.
- More advanced: Try raising your top leg while still staying solid through the side plank position.
Lie on your back. Lift your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor and extend your arms. Without moving your legs, lift your chest and shoulders off the floor and try to touch your feet.
- More advanced: Hold one 8-10 lb dumbbell with both hands and lift it while reaching for your feet.
Hollow Hold or Flutter Kicks:
Lie on your back and contract your abs, pulling your belly button towards the floor. Point arms and legs straight out from the body. Ideally arms will be in line with your ears. Slowly raise shoulders and legs from the ground. The arms and head should be raised along with the shoulders. The lower back should remain contact with the floor.
- Beginners: Try flutter kicks. Lie on your back with legs extended and your arms alongside your hips, palms down. Lift your legs 4 to 6 inches off the floor. Press your low back into the floor. Keep your legs straight as you raise one leg higher, then switch. Move in a fluttering, up and down motion.
- More advanced: Try hollow body rocks. Assume the standard hollow hold position, but move your legs up and down to slightly rock your body. Just be sure to maintain the hollow hold position while rocking.
Ab Roll Ups:
Lie face up with your arms stretched overhead. Inhale and begin to curl your upper body off the floor. Exhale when you’re halfway up and continue rolling forward to reach toward your toes. Inhale and reverse the move, exhaling halfway down. Repeat.
See videos of each move here: side plank, toe touches, hollow body hold, flutter kicks, ab roll up.
What I’m wearing: Lorna Jane Xenta Sports Bra, Lululemon Groove Short II, Old Navy High Neck Swing Tank
If you try this 12 minute core workout be sure to leave a comment to let me know how you like it! Or better yet, send me a sweaty selfie on Instagram.
Disclaimer – This content is for informational purposes only. Listen to your body while working out and be sure to consult a physician before performing this or any exercise routine if you’re just getting started.
Looks like a great workout, I love quick workouts that I can do when I have just a little time.
I *just* had a friend ask me for a few quick apartment-friendly workouts, this is perfect!
Very well move in this workout and it’s very different. I will add this workout in my daily routine workout list.
I’ve been doing a lot of 5 and 10 minute abs/backs workouts lately. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks you and I admire you to have the courage the talk about this,This was a very meaningful post for me.Thank you.
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