Your core is the connection between your lower and upper body, and almost every sport demands a strong midsection to allow for powerful all-body movements. Once you get good at this circuit, you will find that your performance in all physical activities improves as a result (a hard set of abs is just a pleasant side-effect).
How To Do This Workout
- Perform each exercise in order, taking no rest between exercises.
- Do either the number of reps stated, or as many reps as you can in the time stated.
- Once you have completed one full circuit, rest for one minute before starting over again.
- Do two circuits in total.
- For the majority of exercises, take up to three seconds for each rep – slow is good for core training.
- For planks and bridges, aim to keep your body in a straight line – don’t overextend your lower back.
12-Minute Total-Body Workout For Runners
- Start in a press-up position with your body straight and your hands beneath your shoulders.
- Walk your feet forward, taking small steps until your body forms an inverted 'V' shape.
- From the 'V' position, walk your hands forward until you return to the press-up position.
- Repeat the movement pattern so that you move forwards slowly across the room.
- Keep your back flat and core braced throughout.
- Lie on the mat and touch your fingers to your temples.
- Hold your feet off the floor.
- Bring one knee back towards your chest and, at the same time, lift the opposite shoulder off the floor and twist your torso so your elbow almost touches your knee.
- Twist back and forth, pumping your legs and almost touching your elbows to your knees.
- Use your abs to control the motion.
3 One-leg offset touch
Reps 10 each leg
- Stand on one leg, with your back upright and toe pointing forward.
- Lean forward slowly at the hips, keeping your back straight.
- Bend your knee slightly to maintain balance.
- Touch the floor to the outside of your foot and return to the start.
4 Dorsal raise with shoulder rotation
Reps 10 reps
- Lie face-down on a mat with your arms out to the sides, palms facing down.
- Lift your shoulders off the mat.
- At the same time, twist your palms so your thumbs point to the ceiling, and squeeze your shoulders together.
- Hold for a second before lowering.
Reps 10 each side
- Lie on your side with your elbow beneath your shoulder.
- Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
- Hold the position for two to three seconds before lowering.
- Get into a press-up position, then lower down until your elbows and toes are the only parts of your body touching the floor.
- Keep your body in a straight line from head to heel.
- Keep your feet less than shoulder-width apart.
- Brace your abs throughout the move.
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Pete Muir worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Pete is now editor of Cyclist magazine.