Workout 3: 7-Minute Plyometric Core Challenge

his is a full cardio and core blast you can complete in seven minutes. This program uses high-intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with controlled core movements.

What You Need: Bodyweight, jump rope, 3 to 5-pound dumbbell, and an exercise mat

Warm-Up: Walk or jog in place for 1 minute to begin!


Burpee (30 seconds)

Start in standing position, feet shoulder-width apart. Tighten your core, move into a deep squat position with hands on the ground, jump feet backward holding a plank position, and jump feet forward returning to squat position—make an explosive jump upward extending through ankles, knees, and hips, landing back in a squat position.

Modification: Perform exercise stepping feet back instead of jumping and reach to the ceiling on your tip-toes without an explosive jump at the end.

Bicycle abs

Bicycle Abs (30 seconds)

Using an exercise mat, lie on your back on the floor. Keep your low back pressed into the floor, legs extended with slightly bent knees, and head and shoulders raised a few inches off the floor. Place hands lightly on sides of your head. Avoid pulling on your head and neck.

Tighten the core, bring one knee towards the chest, and reach the opposite elbow toward this knee—your body should be twisting through the core in one motion. (You don’t have to touch the knee to the elbow.) Lower the leg and arm at the same time and repeat this motion on the other side.

Focus on a quality movement not the number of reps completed within the interval.

Modification: Perform the exercise by not alternating side to side. Remain on the right side for 15 seconds, and repeat on the left side for 15 seconds.

Jumping rope

Jump Rope (30 seconds)

Stand with feet close together but not touching with a slight bend in the knees, maintaining good posture, head looking forward, chest lifted, and rope handles held comfortable in your hands. Engage your core and jump up while turning the rope using the wrists. The rope will travel over your head and under your feet for one jump rotation.

Land softly on the midsoles of your feet and jump for 30 seconds to start.

Modification: Perform the exercise jumping without a rope until you feel comfortable with the rhythm and timing. Increase jump rope interval time as you progress and build endurance.

Reverse crunch

Reverse Crunch (30 seconds)

Using an exercise mat, lie on your back on the floor. Press your back into the floor, legs extended to ceiling with slightly bent knees, feet crossed at the ankles, and hands at your sides. Tighten your core to lift hips up and slightly toward your chest. Lower hips back to the start position, not allowing your back to arch.

Focus on quality movement during the interval and pace yourself.

Modification: Perform the exercise by tightening the core, bringing knees toward chest but not lifting hips off the floor.

Plyometric lunges

Plyometric Lunges (30 seconds)

Stand with one leg forward and one leg back. Engage your core, sit into a lunge position and with one explosive movement jump up, switch legs, and maintain a balanced foot position—the forward knee should not travel beyond the toe.

Modification: Eliminate the jumps and perform alternating reverse lunges. Increase interval time as you progress and build endurance.

Reverse plank

Reverse Plank (30 seconds)

For a reverse plank, sit on an exercise mat on the floor, legs extended in front of you. Place your palms (fingers spread wide) on the floor slightly behind and outside your hips. Press into your palms and lift your hips and torso toward the ceiling. Look up to the ceiling, point your toes, and keep your arms and legs straight.

Keep your entire body strong and form a straight line from your head to your heels. Tighten your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine.

Froggy jumps

Froggy Jumps (30 seconds)

This is the hands-behind-your-head version. Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Sit your butt back into a wide low squat, weight over heels. With an explosive jump up, swinging arms upward, bring fingertips to either side of head, toes touch together and out, landing softly back into a squat.

Modification: Touch hands to the floor between jumps for a more advanced exercise. Eliminate touching toes mid-jump to decrease exercise intensity. Or, you can eliminate the jump altogether and perform pulse squats. Increase interval time as you progress and build endurance.

Side plank

Side Plank (30-second split, 1 minute total)

Lie on your right side on an exercise mat with legs extended (right leg will be placed directly on the left leg, feet stacked). Place right elbow directly under shoulder, keep head and spine neutral, while right hip and knee remain in contact with the floor.

Engage core and lift your hips and knees off the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side for 30 seconds.

Modification: Perform side plank maintaining slightly bent stacked knees in contact with the floor.

Leg loops with weight

Leg Loops with Dumbbell (30 seconds)

Sit on an exercise mat on the floor with legs fully extended in front of you. Slightly bend your knees, heels resting on the floor, tighten your core and lean your torso back. Lift your legs a few inches off the floor. Start by holding a dumbbell in your right hand, bringing your right knee up toward your chest and looping dumbbell under the right knee and into your left hand.

Modification: Perform the exercise without holding a dumbbell.

Plyometric jumping jacks

Plyo Jacks (30 seconds)

Stand with feet hip-distance apart, push your butt back slightly, bend at the knees and prepare the body to explode off the ground, extending legs to the sides and arms up overhead. Return to the start position in one motion.

Modification: Eliminate jumps and alternate stepping side to side. Increase interval time as you progress and build endurance.

Ski abs gif

Ski Abs (30 seconds)

Start in a full straight arm plank position on the floor. Maintain a tight core, straight back, and position your hands directly under your shoulders. Your head and neck are neutral. Tighten your core and hop both feet over to the right side. Knees will be bent and landing just outside the right elbow. Jump back to the plank position and repeat the movement on the left side.

Modification:.Perform the exercise using a forearm plank hold and gliders under your feet that can slide right and left on a smooth floor

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