By April Dupee
Whether you care about visible abs or not, strengthening the muscles of your mid-section is one of the best things you can do for overall fitness. And with these short, smart core workouts, you can easily fit that task into your regular routine.
Why is the core such a, well, core component of physical health?
In addition to outer abs, your core includes all of the muscles in your abdomen, lower back, and pelvis. That means it’s involved in almost every move you make. Trying to run that extra mile? Powering through that yoga flow? Sitting long hours at your desk? Your core is hard at work.
A strong core helps with balance, can reduce lower back pain and injury risk, improves posture, and provides the support other muscles need to do their job. (Hey, some people even believe your core strength impacts stress and emotional health.)
The good news: You don’t need to reserve an hour at the gym to work this important muscle group and move with efficiency and ease. These five quick core workouts can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Tack one on to the end of a spin session or a run, or sneak one in before your shower on a day when you only have a few minutes to spare and can’t get a full-body workout in.
Plus, they’re free and you can do them anywhere—at the gym, in your bedroom, at a park—so there’s nothing stopping you.
5 Short, Smart Core Workouts
Blogilates’ 10-Minute Core Crusher Workout
If you’re pumped to fit in an intense, quick, and effective core workout, award-winning fitness instructor Cassey Ho delivers with this 10-minute Pilates-based routine. Plus, poolside views help if you’re stuck in the basement or it’s the dead of winter.
Bodyfit by Amy’s 8-Minute Standing Core Workout
No crunches here! This 8-minute standing core workout is a great option if you have any lower back pain, are missing a mat, or have a furry friend who tries to join you for your floor workouts. It’s also a great one to fit in at a park halfway through a run.
Yoga with Adriene’s 14-Minute Core Practice
Adriene Mishler shows you how to practice mindfulness during a 14-minute core yoga session. This one’s perfect for a stressful day when you could use a little Zen with your ab workout.
Danielle Peazer’s 6-Minute Dance Workout for Abs and Core Stability
If music is what really gets you going, try strengthening your core with this super quick dance workout. It’s fast, rhythmic, and super fun. And don’t worry, no dance experience required.
Madfit’s 15-Minute Total Core and Ab Workout
While you’re just using your bodyweight, Madfit’s killer 15-minute workout is challenging enough to do when it’s the only exercise you’ll be able to squeeze in for the day.