Come Monday I usually get excited to get into my workouts. But… With Holiday season in full blast, this may not be the time to start a new fitness routine or spend hours at the gym. Honesty, I dread January 1st because I inevitably find myself a few pounds heavier. Enjoying the holidays is important to me, even as I try to watch what I eat and sneak in workouts here ans there. But it’s just so hard to find time for EVERYTHING!
Solution that popped into my head was pretty simple! Committing to an hour workout during the busiest time of the year seems unreasonable. But 15-30 minutes every day? THAT I can do! The key here, friends, is consistency. I find that it’s easier for me to maintain workout schedule when I know it won’t take up much of my precious time.
So today I wanted to share with my favorite quick ab+back workout –>> a fabulous 15 Minute Yoga Core Burnout! Because let’s face, we all want a tight core for those cute Holiday outfits, right? 🙂
Outfit by Athleta
You can do this quick 15 Minute Yoga Core Burnout right at home several days a week, no equipment is necessary, and it’s appropriate for all fitness levels. Alternate this workout with simple 20 minute cardio (walk or run outside, or chase your kids around) on other days and you’re golden! As always, consult with your physician before trying something new or if you have injuries. And remember I am not a licensed professional. These are simply exercises that work really well for me.
The moves are inspired by yoga and with proper form they effectively will work your muscles. Why yoga? It’s pretty much widely accepted that yoga has numerous benefits for your body, including strengthening your core. Your core encompasses so much more than just your rectus abdominus, your six-pack muscles. Simply doing crunches will only get you so far. You also have your internal and external obliques, transversus abdominis, erector spinae, glutes (gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius), and many more (Source).
So, let’s work on several of those muscles to get you the strongest, most functional core we possibly can.
1. Downward Dog
Start with a downward dog and shift from side to side for a fabulous stretch. This is a classic yoga pose that it known to energize the body, stretche the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands, relieve headache, fatigue and insomnia. Click HERE for complete instructions on proper form if you’re new to yoga.
2. Low Plank Hold
Move into a low plank hold with your arms held tight to your core, your gaze just a few inches ahead. Hold for 60 seconds. Feel free to move into a downward dog (above) if you need a break and then shift right back into a plank.
3. Knee to Elbow
This is one of my absolute favorite ways to work multiple core muscles! I literally watch my tummy flatten when I practice this one often. The key in mastering Knee to Elbow is keeping your back slightly rounded. Take your knee to elbow first, and as you get stronger pull your knee to your chin.
Hold the form for 5 seconds, them switch legs and hold for 5 seconds. Alternate for 1 minute.
4. Side Plank
Side plank is truly a full body exercise that involves a large number of muscles. It strengthens your shoulders, abs and legs. Talking about multi-tasking! There are many variations of side plank. You may start on your elbow first, then move onto a straight arm plank. To increase the level of difficulty, lift the top leg up. Hold 30 seconds on each side.
5. Boat Pose
It takes some practice to get into a boat pose if you’re a beginner, so don’t get discouraged. Once you manage it, you’ll love it! Bend your knees at first, then progress to straight legs. Take it to the next level by stretching your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Remember to breathe 🙂 Start with 20 seconds and gradually increase to 1 minute.
*** Bonus: dog bird plank
Here is an easy one for you to finish the 15 Minute Yoga Core Burnout. You may wonder if you’re even working in dog bird plank, but trust me you are! It’s great for involving the smaller stabilizer muscles in your core and lower back. The key is keeping your back completely neutral. Imagine you have a bowl of cereal on your lower back, you don’t want to spill it. Hold opposite arm and leg out parallel to the floor for 5 seconds, the switch for a total of 1 minute.
Once you complete all five exercises (+bonus if you choose), that’s one round. Complete two more rounds building in breaks as needed. For a cool down lay flat on your back and breathe slowly for a minute of two. Done!
To make it a full workout, add a 15 minute cardio at the beginning. Knee pull-ups, jumping jacks, running will do. Finish with a slow 5 minute stretch.
If you have any questions please submit a comment below. I’d love to hear if you gave it a try!
Hope you enjoy my 15 Minute Yoga Core Burnout! For other quick workout ideas that use multiple muscle groups, check out this Functional Training post.
Curious about Orangetheory Fitness? Read this!
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Photography by amazing Jill Shaw