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Having a strong core a staple of a healthy body. 

It’s not just about having a lean 6-pack. 🤙Not all chiseled abs have a strong core. It’s about having a solid midsection, back, front, and sides that can help you move with ease in your everyday life.

What is the core?🙄

To clarify, the core is not just the 6-pack washboard abs (rectus abdominis) we’re trying to achieve. It also involves our sides (obliques), lower back muscles (erector spinae), pelvic floor, and much deeper muscles in the midsection. The core also extends up to the lower portion of your lats, glutes, and even traps.

🤜 It’s right in the middle of our whole body connecting the upper and lower half. This is why most of our movements or static positions need the engagement of the core. 

Core Function

The core also transfers force throughout your body. For example, when punching, kicking, jumping, doing squats. Prime muscle movers generate force that passes through the core to the output muscle to maximize the generated force.

It also acts as stabilizers, especially for closed kinetic chain exercises such as push-ups, handstands, pull-ups. In gymnastics rings, given its instability, the core has a massive role instabilizing you in position.

What will you get from having a strong core

  • ✊ Better posture
  • ✊ Stronger efficiency in movement and holding positions
  • ✊ Better balance and control
  • ✊ Higher overall power out from other muscle groups
  • ✊ Improved stability
  • ✊ Opens gate to other calisthenics skills
  • ✊ Lesser risk of injuries, aches, and pains
  • ✊ Better quality of life

How to train the core in 30 minutes 👆

❎We will not be doing hundreds of sit-ups for 30 minutes. That’s the old fashion way to train which is not effective and efficient at all. You will be wasting your time with this type of training.

🤜Your core is a complex muscle group. Training it for strength is not the only way to make it actually strong. You must also treat it like any other muscle: improve your mobility, endurance, and skill of the core.

It’s important to note that you don’t have to train this every day. Allow your core muscles to rest and grow. 

Here’s the 30-minute core workout you can do anywhere:

🎯 Warm-up – 1 to 2 minutes rest after each set

Like any other workout start with a good warm-up to increase blood flow, high rate, and circulation.

✅ Vertical Shoulder Pulses (Thumbs down)

1 x 30 second hold

This exercise is to warm-up your deltoids, lats and traps which will be used in our workout. Remember that the core is a stabilizer. It’s best to train them that way to get the most out of your workout.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by standing up straight, feet together, and back straight. 
  2. Extend arms out straight, make a fist with thumbs pointing down to the floor.
  3. Tense upper back and shoulders.
  4. Start to move arms a small distance down and then up.

✅ Wrist Rotations

2 x 10 reps

Mainly for wrist and connecting muscles in the forearms, wrist rotations are a great warm-up since we will be doing support hold position where the wrist is flexed.

How to Perform

  1. Begin in a kneeling position, sitting on your heels.
  2. Bend elbows at your sides.
  3. Start rolling both wrists around in a circular motion.
  4. Switch directions.

✅ Peddles

1 x 30 second hold

Peddles is a fun exercise to stretch out the lower body as well as the shoulders, wrist and the core. It will also get your high right up with the right intensity.

How to Perform

  1. Begin in a kneeling position with hands in front.
  2. Coming forward, place your palms on the floor in front of you.
  3. Rise up off knees, straighten legs into a downward dog position.
  4. Keep feet together and bend right knee keeping toes on the ground and left leg straight.
  5. Straighten right leg, and bend left.
  6. Continue alternating for desired repetitions.

✅ Cat Cow

1 x 30 second hold

Cat cow is an amazing exercise itself. It promotes good low back health. This stretch gently mobilizes the back and helps with building core strength, low back, and hips.

How to Perform

  1. Begin on all fours, arms straight and palms directly under shoulders, eyes looking down. Knees forming a 90 degree angle.
  2. Start by arching your back, as your head comes up. This is the cat position.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then transition slowly into cow. Drop head, eyes look down, push through shoulders as upper back is rounded.
  4. Continue alternating slowly for desired repetitions

✅ Double Jump Rope

1 x 30 reps

Double unders are an endurance exercise. It’s a variation of regular jump roping where the rope swings quickly under the feet twice before returning to the ground to do the next jump. It’s a fun exercise to get the blood pumping to get your temperature up. Raising your temperature allows you to move more efficiently.

How to Perform

  1. To start double unders, grab your jump rope.
  2. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, rope starting behind your feet.
  3. Begin jumping with two straight regular jumps, then use your wrists to spin the rope faster, jump up, tucking your knees, as the rope spins under your feet twice before landing again.
  4. As feet land, jump back up again and spin rope quickly under twice.
  5. Repeat, stringing together double unders.

🎯 Skill Work- 1 to 2 minutes rest after each set

Aside from also building strength, the skill work is done so you can grasp how to engage your core muscles in different positions and in movement.

✅ Table

2 x 31 second hold

This is a great exercise that stimulates your posterior chain, back of your core and glutes are included. Aside from the strength benefit, you’ll also get to improve your spine and shoulder mobility which is a common issue for most people.

How to Perform

  1. To begin, start in a seated position with your arms behind you, palms placed on the floor with fingers pointing towards your hips.
  2. Bend your knees and place your feet flat, together, on the floor in front of you.
  3. Contract your glutes and hamstrings while lifting hips off the floor towards the ceiling.
  4. Push through your palms and feet. Your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  5. Hold position for specified time, then lower back down.
  6. Repeat per specified repetitions.

✅ Grapevine

1 x 8 reps

As mentioned earlier, engaging your core in movement is a must. The grapevine is a cool coordination exercise that allows you to learn how to engage your core while moving. Doing this promotes stability and balance in your movement.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by standing up straight, arms straight out on each side, legs together.
  2. Start moving to the right by stepping right foot in front of your left, then crossing your left foot behind your right.
  3. Pick up your right foot and step it to the right, turning hips to the right.
  4. Continue moving and move left foot in front of right.
  5. Keep alternating, left foot behind right, then in front of right, as you keep moving with each step.
  6. Repeat for specified repetitions.

✅ Slow Frog Sit ups

3 x 5 reps

To get more blood flowing to your core before our strength training aspect, we’ll end with slow frog sit-ups. This exercise teaches you to control your anterior core muscles as you will be engaging them more in the following exercises.

How to Perform

  1. Lay supine with knees bent and soles of feet together.
  2. Contract abdominals and crunch up as you lift shoulder blades off the mat.
  3. Return to laying flat.
  4. Repeat specified repetitions.

🎯 Strength- 1 to 2 minutes rest after each set

Now let’s get started in the dirty bit to build strength. For this workout, we’ll be focusing on the anti-extension exercises and a hip flexion exercise for dynamic strength. The goal is to build a solid anterior core that has many skill and strength transfer to different skills and exercises.

✅ Hollow Lifts and Hold Arms Down

3 x 10 second hold

Here’s a basic exercise that builds you a strong core and develops you a good form for a straight line handstand. Training this exercise helps you prevent arching of the lower back in other exercises such as the handstand, push-ups or pull-ups.

How to Perform

  1. Start by laying flat on your back, arms straight along your sides.
  2. Extend your legs out straight, toes pointed.
  3. Begin the movement by contracting your abdominals, tightening your legs.
  4. Back staying flat on the floor, raise scapulas, head, and arms a few inches above the ground.
  5. Legs raised up a few inches off the ground as well. Hold position for specified time.
  6. Return to laying flat.

Pseudo Plank Hold

3 x 45 second hold

The Arms Plank position targets the latissimus and chest muscles in addition to the abs, low back, glutes and quads. In addition to strengthening the core, this exercise routine also works towards improving your posture.

How to Perform

  1. To begin, get down on all fours position, that is on your hands and knees
  2. Hands should be placed shoulder-width apart on the floor.
  3. Arms straight and shoulders directly over the wrists.
  4. Back is slightly rounded and keep abs tight.
  5. Hips in front of (not inline) the knees with the Knees bent less than 90 degrees.
  6. Legs close together, knees, toes rest on floor.
  7. Hold this position for specified time.

Lying Knee Raises

3 x 25 reps

Our core and our hip flexors are strengthened in this dynamic exercise. This translates to stronger stabilization in movement that requires you to have a dynamic core.

How to Perform

  1. Lie down straight on your back with your arms by your side.
  2. Legs straight and close together with the toes pointed.
  3. In this position bend your knees and bring them to your chest , as close as possible.
  4. Make sure you move the knees together.
  5. The lower back is rounded and hips are slightly above the floor.
  6. Go back to the initial position.
  7. Repeat the above steps for specified repetitions.

🎯 Cooldown- 15 seconds to 1 minute rest after each set

Training your core doesn’t mean you literally just have isolated your core. Our bodies are complex with every muscle being interconnected. Any imbalance could reflect even in our strongest muscle groups. To maintain full balance, improve our flexibility and mobility, we’ll cool down with a quick full-body stretch.

Sitting Elbows Bent

1 x 30 second hold

Targeted Muscles: Front deltoids, pectorals, shoulders

How to Perform

  1. To begin, sit on the floor with your knees bent in front of you and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Reach your arms back behind you, placing your palms on the floor as far behind you as you can.
  3. Bend elbows and lean into it, feeling a stretch in the front of your shoulder.
  4. Hold this position for specified time.

Beginner Wrist Stretch

2 x 30 second hold

Targeted Muscles: Wrist, brachioradialis, palmaris longus, flexor carpi radialis and ulnaris.

How to Perform

  1. Begin in a kneeling position.
  2. Arms straight in front of you.
  3. Place the back of the hand on the floor with fingers facing your knees.
  4. Lean back slightly feeling a stretch through the forearms.
  5. Hold this position for specified time.

Elbow Seal

1 x 30 second hold

Targeted Muscles: Abs, lower back, hip flexors.

How to Perform

  1. Lay prone on elbows, legs extended out straight.
  2. Push through elbows to lift chest and stretch abdominals.
  3. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  4. Lower chest to arms, and then push back up.
  5. Repeat for specified time.

Toe Point on Knees

2 x 15 second hold

Targeted Muscles: Ankles and toes, tibialis anterior, and extensor digitorum longus.

How to Perform

  1. Begin in a kneeling position sitting on heels with arms straight along your sides, and fingertips on the floor next to your feet.
  2. Push through your fingers and lift shins and knees up toward your chest, roll back onto the top of your toes.
  3. Hold the position for specified time.


2 x 30 second hold

Targeted Muscles: Quadriceps

How to Perform

  1. Begin the quad stretch by lying prone.
  2. Legs together and straight, arms extended straight out in front of you.
  3. Bend right knee, reach back with right arm and pull the foot towards your butt. Keep left arm and leg straight.
  4. Hold the position for specified time.
  5. Repeat with left leg.

Femur Stretch

1 x 30 second hold

Targeted Muscles:  Hamstrings, glutes, and low back.

How to Perform

  1. To begin, stand up straight with feet close together.
  2. Bend forward, rounding back, knees slightly bent.
  3. Torso close to thighs, reach arms forward with hands clasped together.
  4. Hold the position for specified time.

Side Bend Stretch

2 x 30 second hold

Targeted Muscles: Obliques and serratus anterior

How to Perform

  1. While in a headstand position, bring the legs into a tuck then extend them fully to vertical.
  2. Keep the core engaged and use the fingertips to help with balance and support.
  3. Repeat the movement for specified times.


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