This article is written by Josh Anderson (M.S., AFAA CPT).
He is the founder of Always Active Athletics LLC. He has been seen in Shape, She Knows, RedBookMag, iPhone Life…etc. and contributes to Natural News, The Active Times, and LifeHack. He loves blending new science into his client’s workouts to help them get incredible results at home.
Be sure to check out Always Active Athletics LLC’s Facebook and be sure to tell him Cutty sent ya.
It happens; you can’t make it to the gym as often as you want. Some days you just feel like staying home and doing a little light “body/core work”.
For those days, there are a number of workouts you can do that are equipment free. In fact, all you would need is an exercise mat or towel if you don’t have carpeted floors.
Let’s break down this at-home core building workout:
This exercise combines the old fashion plank with a twist! Set up like you are performing a normal plank: body weight on your hands/elbows and toes with your body parallel to the ground. The difference is that we want your feet spread 3-4 feet wide. From the beginning of the exercise start working your feet back and forth. Lift your left foot off the ground (leg still straight) and move it over and touch the right foot (which is still in the starting position) and then return it to the starting position. Then lift the right foot and touch the left foot…etc. You work your feet back and forth like a clock pendulum – hence the name tic-tocs!
Pushup with Knee-Tucks
To give us a little breather, we can perform pushups with knee tucks.
For this exercise you will perform your normal pushup but at the top of each pushup you will slowly, in a controlled fashion, bring each knee up one at a time to your chest.
This causes you to slowly contract the abdominal to bring the knee all the way to your chest while also taxing the shoulders and the rest of the core to hold the plank throughout the exercise!
This is the easiest exercise to explain on this list, although it might not be the easiest to perform at this point in the workout.
For this exercise, lie on your back with your legs extended and your hands underneath your underneath supporting your butt.
At the start the exercise, raise your feet 3-4 inches off of the ground and hold them there for the duration of the exercise – it will feel SO great.
To make it MORE difficult you can remove your hands and see how much fun it is! J
Side-to-side Heel Touches
For some reason I just love this exercise – I think it is because it helps work almost the entire core! You start in the crunch position with your knees up and feet about a foot away from your buttocks.
To start the exercise, lift your upper body off the mat (shoulder blades shouldn’t touch the mat) and keep it raised the entire exercise.
With your upper body raised and your arms extended towards your feet, work back and forth bending at the side to touch the outside of each heel! Left then right, left then right!
Wide Mountain Climbers
You probably let out an audible groan when you saw this one! Mountain climbers are hated everywhere simply because they are effective and kick your butt!
Start by having your weight on your hands and feet and get into the rhythm of lifting each knee towards your chest.
Unlike with the knee tucks earlier, you want to get in a very fast rhythm for this one almost hopping from foot to foot driving you knee towards your chest!
To change it up, bring each leg out wider than your shoulder in order to give it a different feel!
For this workout, perform it for 3 sets with each exercise timed. This means to perform each exercise for at least 30 seconds doing as many reps as possible (AMRAP) with PROPER form.
Take 30 seconds between each exercise and a maximum of 2 minutes between sets!
You want to push yourself and take very small breaks between sets to blast through calories, get the workout done in a timely manner, and partially ignite the afterburn!
- 3 sets
- 30 seconds each set – AMRAP style
- 30 seconds between exercises
- 2 minutes between sets
This workout is killer and if you really push yourself each set it will kick your butt and burn through a lot of calories in the process!
Give it a try and you will see what I mean!