Hardcore Core is an intense, 8 exercise core & cardio circuit. You’ll be working your core from different angles, while burning calories and pumping your heart rate WAY up. Go your own pace, take breaks when you need to (press pause) and keep track of your reps during each interval for future reference.
Time: 20-30 minutes.
Equipment: None. Mat recommended.
How To Do It (read exercise instructions below before starting)
A. Start with a 5 minute warm up (suggested warm up below)
- 2 minute jog in place
- 30 seconds plank
- 1 minute jump rope
- 30 seconds plank
- 1 minute body weight squats
B. Set your timers for 2 rounds of 120, 90, 60 & 30 seconds. That’s one circuit. You’ll repeat this circuit 2-3 times, resting one minute before starting again.
C. Finish with a 5 minute cooldown. Jog in place for 1-2 minutes, then stretch. Be sure to include stretches for your lower back, shoulders, quads and core.
** Bonus: Need some more? Add the 5 minute Hardcore Bonus to each circuit (see below).
HARDCORE CORE CIRCUIT
High Knees & Plank Jacks (120 seconds)
Run in place, bringing your knees high and pumping your arms for 10 seconds. Drop down to plank position (hands or elbows), and jump your feet out and in (jacks) for 10 seconds. Hop or step your feet forward, stand. Repeat in 10 second intervals for 2 minutes, moving quickly.
Tips: Jog in place if the high knees are too intense. Brace your core and keep belly button pulled into your back for the jacks. Keep your shoulders lined up with your hands/elbows, and step out for the jacks instead of jumping if you are still working up to it.
Rollback to Frogger (90 seconds)
Rollback: From a standing position, squat down slightly and roll your body backwards towards the floor, until you’re in a lying position. Reverse the motion, standing up and adding a jump in the air. Stay in control, and only move as quickly as comfortable. Use your hands or a chair to help you lower, and place a pillow on your mat for comfort if you need to.
Frogger: After the jump, drop your hands to the floor and jump your feet back into a narrow stance plank. In a quick motion, hop your feet back to your hands (wide: & out to the sides - see photo) and jump up to standing. Step back instead of jumping back to modify. Repeat with the rollback.
Keep your core tight throughout the combo and use your own momentum to help you down and up in the rollback. Take out the jumps for lower impact.
Side Knee to Side Kick (60 seconds)
Stand with your weight shifted to one foot. Keep arms up, and elbows bent. Raise your opposite knee up to hip level, lifting your hip towards your rib cage. Replace foot to the floor, then raise the same leg back up to hip level pushing your foot out to the side (push kick). Repeat switching sides for 60 seconds.
Bicycle Crunches (30 seconds)
On a mat, place your hands behind your head with elbows out to the side. Relax your neck, and imagine there’s an apple between your chin and chest. Lift your shoulders off the ground, and draw the opposite knee to your elbow as you crunch. Continue alternating sides for 30 seconds.
Cobra Burpee With Swivels (120 seconds)
From standing, drop your hands to the ground and jump your feet back into plank position (feet about hips width apart). Lower your body down to the floor, then extend arms straight forward while lifting your feet off the ground (see photo). Only lift as high as comfortable, and glutes as you lift your legs. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then drop the hold and bring hands to either side of your chest (tight to the body). Press up in to plank position, scraping your body with your elbows.
In plank, draw your right knee to your left elbow, then your left knee to your right elbow. Replace feet, and hop them forward to standing. Add jump and repeat the combo.
Squat to Crescent Knee (90 seconds)
Stand with feet wider than hips width apart, toes facing forward. Come down into a squat, pushing your booty back and lift one knee as you stand. Circle the knee out to the side, then replace to the floor. Squat & repeat on the other side. For the knee, imagine lifting the knee pointed forward, then open your hip as you swing it 90 degrees to the side. Sit down low in the squat, keeping the weight in your heels. Only bring the knee as high as comfortable, and modify range of motion to suit your needs. See video below for tips on how to control the crescent knee (a regular knee forward is okay too).
Pushup to Side Plank Reach Under (60 seconds)
In pushup position, lower your body close to the ground and push back up (modify from the knees if necessary). Open to side plank. Raise your opposite arm up towards the sky, then curl it in towards your body, reaching through the space between your obliques and the mat. Move your head in the same direction as your arm, and keep your abs tight and controlled. Reach once, then replace both hands and come back to the top of your pushup. Repeat alternating sides. Come to your knees for side plank if necessary.
In & Out V-Crunches (30 seconds)
Come to the mat, and sit in a V, with your hands to your side, or lifted and facing forward palms down (feet on or off the ground). Keeping your back flat and chest open, draw your knees to your chest, then lower your torso as you extend your feet out. Try not to touch your feet the floor, but tap down when you need to.
**5 minute bonus: Really want to target your core? Add 1 minute of each of the following…
See my other Weekend Workouts here.