30-Minute Core Challenge

This is a core workout I set up for a 30 minute abs class I subbed the other night. The gym I work at called yesterday to see if I could sub my friend’s 30 minute abs class, so I jumped on the chance expand my teaching skills. I am fairly new to teaching group fitness (2 years) so I need to get more experience teaching fitness classes other than Zumba, which is the only class I teach right now. I am rather inept at talking through sets, counting reps aloud, and following the beat with fitness music (!!). This can be discouraging, but I refuse to look at my shortcomings as handicaps. Instead, I am choosing to see those things I struggle with as “skills in the making”. It’s just going to take practice and lots of work!

I came up with this core workout on short notice and I had a hard time gauging how the class felt about it. My husband came to the class and told me he thought it could have been more challenging, but his abs were sore the next day. Either way, here is the workout! If you try this out, let me know : )

Equipment: exercise ball, gliders (optional for mountain climbers), weight

Perform the exercises above with no rest between exercises. Once each sequence is complete, take a short rest and repeat the specified number of times. Here are explanations for a couple of the exercises:

Weighted Arm/Leg Extensions: Begin by lying on your back. Raise your knees to a 90 degree angle. Hold onto a weight with both hands and hold your weight at the top of your knees, engaging your abdominal muscles. Extend the weight over your head with straight arms, simultaneously straightening and lowering one leg toward the floor (do not rest your arms or legs on the floor). Bring your arms and legs back to the starting point by engaging your muscles in a crunch. Repeat with the opposite leg, alternating legs for 8 reps per leg.

Jackknife on Ball: Begin by laying over the ball stomach down. Roll out on the ball until your body is in a plank position with your hands are on the floor and your knees on the ball. Using your abs, roll the ball forward until your knees are close to your chest. Return to your starting position by rolling the ball back with your knees. Repeat

Jackknife on ball (Photo from fitnessgoop.com)

Pike on Ball: This is similar to the jackknife, but it is more challenging. Begin the same way, but begin in a plank with your shins or toes on the ball and hands on the floor. Roll the ball forward (hands do not move) with straight legs, bringing your hips up into the air, until your toes are on top of the ball. Return to start and repeat (If you have back problems, I would not recommend this exercise).

Ball Pike (photo from Blogilates.com)

Plank Walk: begin in plank position on toes and hands. Lower one arm to elbow, then the other arm to elbow. Raise one arm, then the other arm, back to plank on hands. Continue to do this quickly, maintaining proper form, until you have completed 8-16 per side. Rest and repeat.


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