Carve Your Core With 10 Minutes of Cardio
This workout does double duty: it works the abs with a serious dose of cardio. Multitasking by mixing bodyweight strength training with jumping plyo moves means you get more done in less time. This workout is only 10 minutes, so give it your all. Get ready to get at it!
Cardio Core Workout
Equipment needed: none
Directions: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, and repeat. Cool down with a few minutes of stretching (find inspiration here).
- High knee run
- Alternating lunge to kick
- Sumo squat to side bend
- Mountain climber
- Cross jack
- Plank jack
- Elbow plank with alternating knee tap
- Tuck jump
- Squat and jab
Keep on reading for detailed explanations of each exercise.
High Knee Run
This cardio move is great for runners; it not only works the lower fibers of the abs, but it helps train for quick turnover in gait to increase speed.
- Run in place while lifting your knees high to the level of your waist. Engage your abs as the knee comes up.
- Pump your arms to warm up your upper body.
- Keep running with high knees for 30 seconds.
Alternating Lunge and Kick
This is a great move for warming up the entire body. It's a dynamic stretch for both the hip flexors and the hamstrings.
- Step back with your left foot coming into a deep lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees.
- Press the right heel into the ground as you push off with your left foot, kicking your left leg to touch your left toes to your right hand.
- With control, return to the lunge position. Switch sides, and lunge back with the right leg.
- Keep alternating sides for 30 seconds.
Sumo to Standing Side Crunch
This combo works the glutes, almost as intensely as a plyometric move but without the impact, and the obliques nicely.
- Start in a wide stance with your toes pointed out; bring your hands behind your head with your elbows wide.
- Bend your knees over your toes, coming into a sumo squat with your thighs almost parallel to the floor.
- As you straighten your knees to stand, lift your right knee while bending to the right to bring your right elbow and knee together, doing a side crunch.
- Straighten your spine as you bring your right foot to the floor, and bend both knees, returning to a sumo squat to repeat the crunch on the other side.
- Continue alternating sides for 30 seconds.
This move is essentially running in a plank position and really works your abs and arms and gets your heart rate up.
- Start in a traditional plank, and with your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest. Return to your basic plank. Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
- Keep switching legs, and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
- Continue "running" in your plank for 30 seconds.
This jumping jack variation fires up the inner thighs in the best possible way.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and extend your arms straight out to either side with palms facing down.
- Jump and cross your right arm over your left and your right foot over your left. Jump your legs to the sides and open your arms, then cross with the opposite arm and foot.
Work your obliques with this lateral crunch — it should make you think of a penguin moving along in a flightless shuffle.
- Lie on you back with knees bent and hands at your sides. Lift your upper back and shoulder blades off the floor.
- Bend to the left bringing your left hand to touch your left heel, then switch sides bringing your right hand to your right heel.
- Continue switching sides for 30 seconds.
The plank jack is a great cardio move; it raises the heart rate while working both your lower and upper body.
- Begin in plank position, with your shoulders over your wrists, your body in one straight line, and your feet together.
- Like the motion of a jumping jack, jump your legs wide, then back together. Jump as quickly as you want, but keep your pelvis steady, and don't let your booty rise toward the ceiling.
- Continue plank jacks for 30 seconds.
Elbow Plank With Alternating Knee Tap
The simple motion bringing one knee to the floor at a time works the lower part of the abs, and you will be surprised how it can make your abs burn. It's a great core stabilization exercise for runners, too.
- In an elbow plank, keeping your back flat, slowly tap your left knee to the ground without moving your hips. Lift your left knee back up, returning to the starting position. Repeat the same movement with the right leg.
- Continue alternating knees taps for 30 seconds.
Get your heart rate up and challenge your low abs with this energizing move.
- Begin in a shallow squat position with your legs hip-width apart and arms behind you.
- Swing your arms forward, and jump into the air, bringing knees up to meet your hands at waist height.
- Land softly back on your feet, and prepare to jump again.
Squat and Jab
Add a little spice to your squat by adding a jab into the mix, which brings a twisting motion to the exercise.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your hands in loose fists at your chest. Come into a deep squat.
- As your stand, place your weight over your left foot, and twist to left, punching with your right hand. Do allow your right heel to release and your torso to twist to the left.
- As you bring your hand back to your chest, untwist to return to your deep squat, then jab to the other side.
- Continue alternating sides for 30 seconds.