30 Day Workout Challenge: 5 Minute Daily Core Exercises

30 Day Workout Challenge: 5 Minute Daily Core Exercises

Raise your hand if you want a stronger core.

You have come to the right place if you, too, are jumping for joy like Brittany here. Fitness professionals stress the importance of a strong core and its critical role in exercise technique.

They often say the expressions "engage your core" or "keep your core tight" as a reminder during our workouts. However, if we are unaware of our core or how to engage it, these coaching cues may land on deaf ears.

Building core strength takes time, consistency, and progression. This article will help you outline what muscles make up the core and the 5 best exercises for 5 minutes a day to strengthen your core in 4 weeks.

Sunny Trainer Brittany Encourages You to Train Your Core

What are the Core Muscles?

A strong core goes far beyond the muscles you see in the mirror on your torso. I define the core as everything from the shoulders down to the knees.

Think about when you are holding a plank or performing bicycles. The muscles that are engaged and contracting are the muscles not only around your trunk but also above and below. All the muscles in the hips, chest, and shoulders are also engaged to stabilize the spine. This is important to recognize because many of the traditional core moves, we performed growing up in P.E. class are abdominal isolation exercises.

Illustrated Core Muscles Top to Bottom

The crunch comes to mind for me as an isolation exercise. A crunch, while it has its place in core training, falls short compared to other moves that incorporate more core musculature.

Think of your training as a backpacking trip. You only want to bring the essentials in your pack with you, like food, water, and sleeping equipment. When you dedicate time to your health and body, picking essential exercises will help streamline your training.

5 Best Core Exercises

These 5 exercises are fundamental core exercises that engage and strengthen all the muscles that make up the core. Each of these exercises requires no equipment and can be performed essentially anywhere.

  1. Plank
  2. Deadbug
  3. Side Plank
  4. Hollow Hold/V-Sit
  5. Bird Dog

The key to any good exercise routine is a well-thought-out workout program. Each exercise must be appropriate for your skill level and should progress as you grow stronger.

In this 4-week core program, I provide the 5-best core exercises to perform each workout day and a 4-week progression for each exercise. Thus, each week the exercise progresses to a more advanced version.

Week 1 Core Workout Challenge

Plank

Deadbug

Side Plank

Hollow Body/V-Sit

Bird Dog

Elbow/Low Plank

Knees Bent Hold

Knees Bent

Hand-Supported

Alt. Leg Knee Tuck

Arm Reach Only

45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest between

 

Plank

Elbow/Low Plank

Deadbug

Knees Bent Hold

Side Plank

Knees Bent

Hollow Body/V-Sit

Hand-Supported

Alt. Leg Knee Tuck

Bird Dog

Arm Reach Only

45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest between

 

Week 2 Core Workout Challenge

Plank

Deadbug

Side Plank

Hollow Body/V-Sit

Bird Dog

High Plank

Knees Bent, Legs Only

Straight Leg Hold

Hand Supported Scissor Leg Knee Tuck

Leg Reach only

45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest between

 

Plank

High Plank

Deadbug

Knees Bent, Legs Only

Side Plank

Straight Leg Hold

Hollow Body/V-Sit

Hand Supported Scissor Leg Knee Tuck

Bird Dog

Leg Reach only

45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest between

 

Week 3 Core Workout Challenge

Plank

Deadbug

Side Plank

Hollow Body/V-Sit

Bird Dog

Shoulder Taps

Knees Bent Contralateral

Straight Leg w/ Rotation

V-Sit Alt Leg

Knee Tuck

Arm and Leg Reach

45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest between

 

Plank

Shoulder Taps

Deadbug

Knees Bent Contralateral

Side Plank

Straight Leg w/ Rotation

Hollow Body/V-Sit

V-Sit Alt Leg

Knee Tuck

Bird Dog

Arm and Leg Reach

45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest between

 

Week 4 Core Workout Challenge

Plank

Deadbug

Side Plank

Hollow Body/V-Sit

Bird Dog

1-Arm Plank

Legs straight Contralateral

Straight leg w/ Leg Lift

Hollow Body Hold

Continuous w/ Elbow & Knee Touch

45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest between

 

Plank

1-Arm Plank

Deadbug

Legs straight Contralateral

Side Plank

Straight leg w/ Leg Lift

Hollow Body/V-Sit

Hollow Body Hold

Bird Dog

Hollow Body Hold

45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest between

 

This core workout program is only as good as your consistency. Perform each 5-minute routine at a minimum of 2-3 days per week but strive for a maximum of 5 days per week. Feel free also to repeat a week if you feel like the progressed exercises are too challenging.

I have laid this program out to last 4 weeks, but it is certainly possible to stretch into an 8-week program by spending two weeks with each progression. This 5-minute routine can be performed at the beginning, middle, or end of your workout. I like to add in 5 minutes of core at the end of my workouts!

Wendie demonstrates each exercise and its weekly progressions. So take it slow and enjoy the process!

Best Daily Core Workouts in 4 Weeks Challenge
Best Daily Core Workouts in 4 Weeks Challenge

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