Time is often one of the biggest issues when it comes to staying fit. I bet you have faced that problem as well. A typical gym workout normally takes 1 hour and then an additional hour for transportation. No wonder it can become a problem to workout when you have to dedicate 1/4 of your free time to it. Therefore we sometimes need quick fixes. A fast solution that will take care of our current needs.
We know from High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that you can get an efficient workout done in 5 minutes (for more info, read my article “High-intensity workouts or waste of time?”), and we also know that the most important body part that needs to stay strong and healthy is your core. Not only will a strong core give you a good posture, it can also help you get a flat stomach, tight glutes, and even visible abs.
Therefore, the combination of the two is where the magic happens and also where we can label a 5-minute core workout as efficient.
Before we go to my 3 suggested “5-minute core workout”, let’s just line up some important bullets:
Need to be done close to max heart rate (90-95% of max heart rate or when you can only speak single words)
Should be done at intervals. This means that we build in periods where heart rate goes down. This is so you can reach the peak within shorter periods.
Please look at the photo to identify our core muscles
Lower and upper abs are normally easy to workout. The biggest mistake is when crunches are done wrong, as you then mostly work hip flexors.
Obliques on the sites are smaller muscles and need special attention to get worked.
Glutes are big muscles, but due to our living style whereby we sit a lot, it can be difficult to get to the glutes.
Lower back can be combined with some of the glute exercises.
Now the trick is to select exercises that target these muscle groups and if possible get your pulse up. That way we have taken care of both strength and cardio.
Of course, you can take any of these exercises and create a 5-minute core workout. That is absolutely fine. However, my goal is to create a 5-minute core workout that focuses on your core but also gives you a lot of other benefits to your overall fitness.
Let’s have a look at the exercises I have chosen:
Flutter kicks – Targeting your abs. Upper and lower.
Hollow hold – Targeting your abs. Upper and lower.
Sitting Jack-knife – Targeting your abs. Upper and lower.
Plank – Targeting most of your core.
Plank with the knee to elbow – Again, complete core but here we get to the obliques on the sites.
Jumping Squats – Not 100% core-focused, but will work your glutes if you focus on firing them up when you jump. Will skyrocket your pulse.
Jumping Lunges – Not 100% core-focused but will work your glutes if you focus on firing them up when you jump. Will skyrocket your pulse.
Superman hold – Targeting lower back and glutes.
These are the exercises. Now let’s have a look at the three, 5-minute core workout that I have created. I have categorized them into three levels. Level 1 is the easiest and level 3 is the hardest.
Work for 20sec with each exercise & then rest for 10sec before starting next exercise.
We use the same scheme as in L1 but added some tough exercises.
Jumping Lunges – remember to squeeze your glutes when jumping
Plank, with knee to elbows.
Study the exercises in this video:
So there you have it. Please also look at my sample of 15 minute workout, which is a full-body workout. Finally, if you are looking for complete body weight workout plan, please visit my main site here.