Aimee Cringle’s Four-Move Workout Will Bulletproof Your Core

Aimee Cringle
(Image credit: Aimee Cringle / Gymshark)

A strong core is something everyone should aspire to, and you don’t need to spend hours doing crunches to get one either. Aimee Cringle is a British CrossFit champion with a core pretty much made of steel and she’s here to teach us a thing or two about developing a strong midsection.

Cringle has created a four-move workout as part of our 12 days of Christmas workouts series that will help to strengthen all your core muscles. “A strong core is so important as you use your core in every single movement in everyday life as well as the gym,” she says. “A strong core helps to prevent injuries by protecting muscles, such as those in the back, from overworking, which can lead to discomfort, tightness or pain.” 

“I train my core in isolation one to two times per week, but it is important to note that you are training your core with every exercise you do. Whether squatting, deadlifting, running or doing a pull-up, your core has to work to stabilise your body.”

Aimee Cringle’s Core Workout

Perform three sets of each of the below exercises and then move onto the next. Rest for a maximum of two minutes between exercises. You will need a pull-up bar and dumbbell to perform the workout. 

If the below is too tough (and it is tough), we have a wide selection of core workouts to try instead and there’s sure to be one that suits your level.

1 Strict toes-to-bar

Group of people performing toes to bar exercise in a gym

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sets 3 Reps 10

Hang from a pull-up bar with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Engage every muscle in your body, and imagine you’re pulling the bar down as you raise your legs. Keep pulling the bar down and kick your toes towards the bar. Lower to the start under control.

If toes-to-bar is a struggle, go for simple leg raises or hanging leg raises, raising your legs until they’re parallel with the floor.

2 Three-point toes-to-bar

Sets 3 Reps 5

This time, three movements make up one rep. Hang from a pull-up bar with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart and engage every muscle in your body. The first movement is bringing your toes to the bar, as above. The second movement requires you to rotate your body as you bring your toes towards the bar so your feet finish just outside of your right hand. The final movement repeats the second on the left-hand side. 

3 Hollow rock

Man performing hollow rock core exercise

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sets 3 Reps 20

Lie on your back with your feet together held just off the floor and your arms extended behind you with your biceps next to your ears. Press your lower back into the floor and contract your core. Rock forwards, lifting your torso a little higher off the floor, then rock back under control.

4 Weighted Russian twist

Man performing Russian twist core exercise holding dumbbell

(Image credit: Getty Images / Nitat Termmee)

Sets 3 Reps 20

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet held just off the floor. Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest with both hands. Rotate your torso, tapping the floor either side of your body with the dumbbell. Keep your feet off the floor and your gaze forwards throughout.

Lucy Gornall

Lucy is an experienced health and fitness journalist, and was formerly health editor for TI Media’s portfolio of women’s titles. Lucy qualified as a level 3 personal trainer with Train Fitness in 2016, and also holds qualifications in pre- and post-natal fitness, as well as in nutrition for exercise.