Get your core in shape for summer sports with this ab circuit workout. Combining five killer ab exercises with 60-second intervals of rope jumping will not only give your midsection a total workout, but you’ll also build cardiovascular fitness at the same time.1 Workout
How to Do the Workout Correctly
Begin your core workout with a light warm-up to get the blood flowing and to gradually increase your core temperature. This can help reduce your risk of injury.
The actual workout will consist of a one-minute interval of the following ab exercises, with a 60-seconds interval of rope jumping between exercises.2
Plank for 60 Seconds
Start with 60 seconds of the standard front plank exercise. If you can hold this position for the entire 60 seconds, challenge yourself by alternating lifting the right and then the left foot off the ground in a slow, steady motion.
When you complete this exercise, do 60 seconds of rope jumping before you move to the next exercise.3
The crossover ab crunch is the next exercise in the circuit. This is a great exercise for targeting the obliques. To safely do this exercise, your goal is to touch each elbow to the knee without cranking your neck forward. It’s helpful to look up as you crunch and rotate from the torso, not the neck. Repeat as many slow, controlled repetitions that you can do on one side in 30 seconds and switch to the other side for the remaining 30 seconds.
Perform another 60 seconds of jumping rope before moving to the next exercise.4
The one-leg bridge is not typically considered a power-house core exercise, but it is excellent for working the posterior chain (the backside of the body) and building strong glutes and hamstrings is essential for torso strength and stability. The key to making this one a good core strengthener is to resist allowing the hips to sag or one side of the pelvis to rotate or sink toward the ground. If you can keep your pelvis level, you will better engage your core muscles and will be doing it correctly.
For this circuit, hold the one-leg bridge for 30 seconds on one side and then switch to the other side for the remaining 30 seconds.
Follow this with another 60 seconds of rope jumping before moving to the next ab exercise.
If you have difficulty with sinking or sagging on one side, perform a basic bridge exercise until you build up enough strength to do this one right.5
Your abs may be burning a bit as you hit the fourth exercise in the circuit, the oblique twist with a medicine ball. If not, they will be by the end of this 60-second interval.
To do it right, keep your feet up off the floor and alternate tapping a medicine ball (the weight of your choosing) back and forth from the right side to the left. Do this in a slow, controlled motion for the entire 60 seconds.
Again, do another 60 seconds of jumping rope before moving to the last ab exercise.6
Standard Crunch for 60 Seconds
The standard crunch is simply that—holding your torso up off the ground, staying as close to the floor as you can increase the intensity. You can have your knees bend slightly to make it easier or straighten them out to make it harder. If you start fatiguing, lift up a bit higher to reduce the effort, or roll up and grab your knees to take a little break. Ultimately, you should aim to hold the position for the entire minute.
One more interval of jumping rope and you are done. Nice work!