Killer Abs and Core

by Marianne  - May 15, 2010

Hi everyone,

I’ve been asked about whether I do many ab or core exercises. There is the odd exercise here and there in my other workouts, but I rarely workout specifically on my abs. Why? Well because I find it boring. So, to spice things up a bit, I’ve come up with a collection of challenging ab and core exercises. You can do them altogether like this, or take one of two and put them into your other workouts. Adding weight will make them more challenging again and may help (in certain exercises) your six pack protrude more.

I would say however, that some of the best exercises for your abs are from using a stability ball, and also performing hanging knee/leg raises. These types of exercises will allow you to use the full range of motion from the abs and work the whole muscle.

Many of today’s exercises are geared towards core strength and stability, rather than “aesthetics” 🙂 And what a challenge they were too, these types of exercises are NOT my strength – as I’m sure you can tell from the video.  This workout was used in conjunction with another workout (my heavy leg day), because exercising abs and core alone will not burn fat.  You need to do cardio/weights to supplement the workout, if fat loss is a goal.

The Workout

This workout has 6 exercises and my aim was to complete 2 rounds. I set my Gymboss Interval Timer for 12 cycles of 15 seconds (changing time) and 45 seconds effort.  This workout only lasts for 12 minutes.  You can make it more or less challenging by increasing the effort time, or decreasing it or, by doing more rounds.  BUT it’s not over yet – there is a surprise at the end (evil laugh).

The  6 exercises are:

  1. KB Sit-up (or L-Crunch)
  2. Leg Rotations (changing direction each round, or every few reps)
  3. Side Plank with knee raise and leg elevation (right)
  4. Side Plank with knee raise and leg elevation (left)
  5. Weighted Glute Raise with Alternate Leg lifts
  6. Walking Planks

I was using an 8kg Kettlebells today, because again this was brought home for Andrew’s PT clients (honest, I wasn’t slacking).  All the same, I know I will be sore tomorrow :/

So now the surprise section.  I will call this my “Cruel Core Medley” (another evil laugh).  You can do this sequence as many times as you like/can. I did it a few extra times than filmed because I was practicing, so only one is in the film. But feel free to mix it up with other exercises or extra reps.

Do each exercise in the list below one after the other, non-stop until the end, then repeat for your other side:

  • Walking Plank (walk out)
  • Body-weight Renegade Row (both sides)
  • Down into Plank (forearms)
  • Explosive Plank (or plank climber up onto hands again)
  • Alternate Shoulder Touch
  • Diagonal Knee Tuck
  • One Push Up
  • Into Side Plank (left or right)
  • Raise top leg (hold for few seconds)
  • Return to original plank position and reverse the walking plank back to standing position.
  • Repeat on the other side

The great thing about this medley is that you have to engage your core the entire time.  This it has shown me that I really need to include more core exercises in my workouts, because I didn’t feel it went very well. But maybe I’m depressed about going back to work tonight 🙁

I hope you all enjoyed this variety of exercises. I will try and find more for new workouts.



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  1. Ok i just tried/did this workout, and i must say, i’m not really happy with myself right now. Can’t do the plank thing to save my soul. My balance does not let me have a foot of the ground without falling. I hate it when i can’t do something. I love the walking planks.

    1. Hey Tempest, I know the feeling, I don’t like not being able to do something either. I guess the key thing is not to let it beat you. Keep trying the exercise until you get it. My balance is terrible, but I know it’s important to keep trying, because it will build up my balance.

      PS Those walking planks are my least favorite exercise, though Andrew loves them!

  2. Wow, i was sure i could do this workout, until your little suprise. ha ha, but none the less, i’m going to try it. Maybe not today, but i am going to try it.

    I believe today i am going to try the March 9th workout,
    Sexy Super Sculpt. Hopefully i won’t die. ha ha

  3. Sorry about work! I hope it wasn’t too bad going back.

    Don’t those side planks kill you!!! They are the hardest exercises to do wand maintain balance… at least for me. 😉

    I am going to add your “surprise” to my swings today. Thanks for sharing your workouts, you have such great ideas!

    1. Hey Melissa, Work was ok, i think the thought of it’s worse!

      The side planks are really hard, I hate them. Plus the leg lift meant the next day I could hardly walk LOL. Enjoy the surprise 😉

  4. Ok, i was ok with this workout, ( meaning i thought i could do it) until i saw the “suprise”. ha ha, i would have to watch this ten times before i could do it consistently right. i would forget what i was doing.

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