The benefits of building a stronger core—considered to be the root of all movements by plenty of fitness pros—are plenty. “The core is the system of muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body,” Lee Wratislaw, manager of digital programming at Gold’s Gym, previously told Well+Good. “A well-developed set of core muscles will prevent injury, improve posture, and deliver better balance and coordination.” And one of the the best ways to strengthen yours is by doing weighted core workouts.
Unfortunately, for most people, core training is pretty much the flossing your teeth of fitness—as in, you know it’s something that you should be doing, but most of the time you just… don’t. But it’s never to late to build new healthy habits. So, if you’ve decided it’s time to add some more core work into your exercise routine and need a place to get started, try one of these weighted core workouts. They’re effective and quick, which’ll make it easier to be consistent, an important part of making sustainable changes to your routines. Clocking in at just five, 10, and 15 minutes, they can be folded into even the busiest schedules. Check them out below.
1. 5-minute weighted core workout
Don’t let the duration of this workout fool you into thinking it’s going to be easy. Certified trainer Roxie Jones demos a kettlebell core workout that consists of 12 reps of five different exercises. For it, she uses a 10 pound kettlebell, but notes that you could go heavier or lighter, depending on your level. (And you could swap in dumbbells, too.) Just don’t forget her pro tip: “A heavier weight doesn’t make a better workout.” Form does, she says. So if you can perform the moves properly, take some load off until you get stronger.
2. 10-minute weighted core workout
This 10-move series will work your abs and your arms since it incorporates compound exercises like renegade rows and butterfly sit-ups. Certified trainer Charlee Atkins, CSCS, founder of Le Sweat TV, leads you through a series of core-strengthening movements, each one of which is performed for 45 seconds with a 15-second break in between. In other words: Get ready to feel the burn.
3. 15-minute weighted core workout
Amber Rees and Lindsey Clayton, senior instructors at Barry’s, lead this quick, weighted core workout. You can expect some traditional core movements, like side planks, crunches, and sit-ups, along with a few surprises. For this one, you need one heavy weight, which should be a load that feels challenging by your last two or three reps. Prepare to put in work for 50 seconds, with 10 seconds to recover between exercises.
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