Lifting weights is one of the best ways to build strength but if, like me, you strength train on a regular basis, you might have forgotten just how effective bodyweight workouts can be.
Even for people who regularly lift heavy barbells, moving with just your bodyweight can be seriously challenging and can also improve your coordination, posture and balance.
I’m working on improving on my core strength at the moment, so I decided to try an equipment-free routine created by fitness model and personal trainer Shaun Stafford.
It involves four exercises and only takes 15 minutes, so I decided to do it at home as a quick break from work, to fire up my core muscles and get me moving. Building a strong core is also a good idea if you work a desk job, like me, as it helps develop the strength needed for good posture.
Take a look at the routine in the Instagram reel below and watch Stafford’s form closely. See Coach’s exercise guides on plank shoulder taps, sit-outs, cross-body mountain climbers and modified V-sits for more pointers.
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Within a couple of minutes of beginning this workout, my shoulders and abdominal muscles were working hard and I found myself having to take small breaks, adopting a child's pose for a couple of seconds.
I'm not used to doing consecutive core exercises—I usually focus on compound movements—and forget just how intense that abdominal burn can be. But by the end of the routine, I felt that my entire core had been pushed to its limit and I’m definitely going to come back to this session to help me build up my core strength.
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Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.