Last Updated on June 6, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Today, I am going to focus on a short 10 minute beginner core workout for those who are short on time. Personally, I’m always busy with trying to keep all of the tops spinning. Because I am looking towards shrinking down my midsection, I decided to put together a quick routine that can help strengthen the core while burning a few calories. This is a simple routine that has been very beneficial for other activities I do throughout the day.
My Beginner Core Workout
First, let me advise you that this routine is the one I use when I only have 10 minutes or so to squeeze in some exercise. If you want to get more of a workout, you can always increase your reps, time or add additional activities within the time span.
This quick core workout centers most of the work on the abs. However, it also puts pressure on the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and obliques. All of these exercises can be done lying on your back. Personally, I use a thin yoga mat to give support and comfort. Remember to take a break in between each set. I can do this routine in just under nine minutes while taking two 60 second breaks. After a couple of weeks of regular workouts, it should become much easier. It may also be interesting to note that my upper back across my shoulder blades were also sore from this workout. I believe it is because of the pressure from doing the Glute Bridge. However, you may not experience the same.
- Scissor Kick: 3 sets of 10 reps each
- Glute Bridge: 3 sets of 10 reps each
- Lying Leg Raise: 3 sets of 10 reps each
The Scissor Kick is a relatively easy exercise to do. It’s a great way to get your body used to utilizing the abs. Lying on your back, lift your feet slightly off the ground. Bring your right leg up to a 45-degree angle from the rest of your body. Now, lower your right leg while simultaneously raising the left to the same 45-degree position. With each raise of your left leg, count out one repetition.
The scissor kick combines balance with movement as your core works to keep yourself stable. As you lift and kick your legs, the abdomen tightens. In order to keep your legs off the ground and keep your weight from shifting, the obliques tighten slightly as well.
I added the Glute Bridge exercise into this routine as more of a way to give the abs a break between sets. You will still use the abdominal muscles, but to a lesser degree. While on your back, position your feet on the floor approximately six inches from your butt with your knees up. Now, push your hips up until your body is straight from your knees to your shoulders. Lower your hips to count this as one repetition.
This exercise is not only great for firming your rear end, but it also helps in various activities. Your glutes are used in everything from walking to getting yourself up off the couch. Firming the hamstrings in the process can also contribute to a variety of activities such as riding a bike or even striking a golf ball on the course.
Lying Leg Raise
This is one of my favorite ab exercises. Although some believe it is an intermediate exercise, it can be greatly beneficial to be used at the beginner level. As you’re lying on your back, lift both of your legs up as far as you can to point your feet at the ceiling. Slowly put them back down to the floor to count this as one repetition.
The Lying Leg Raise has been one of the most influential parts of my development. I’ve found that getting up off the floor as well as a slew of other activities have been much easier since doing these.
Getting More Out of This Routine
This routine is based on what I can do while taking short, 30-second breaks in between each set. The idea behind this beginner core workout is to get a bit of exercise within a 10-minute window. If you find that this is too easy, here are a few things you can do to make it more intense.
The repetitions stated in this workout are more of a guideline than a rule. If you can increase the reps inside your 10 minutes, then by all means you should. I try to push myself as far as I can most of the time to see if I can break any records within the time allotted. You can also try to go as fast as you can to get in as many reps as possible. Just make sure you don’t hurt yourself in the process.
Adding ankle weights can increase the workout of the Scissor Kick and Lying Leg Raise by as much as 50%. At least, that’s the increase of calorie burn I experience in most situations when adding weights such as these. Your burn may be more or less depending on your body type. In either case, it’s greatly beneficial to add weights if at all possible. If you could hold a weight on your stomach, you could even increase the workout of the Glute Bridge in the same manner.
Skip the Breaks
If you’re new to exercising and workouts, I’d suggest you keep a 30 to 60 second break in between each set. However, pushing through the breaks can keep your body in motion for a greater workout. Bare in mind that you don’t want to have a heart attack because you thought you could handle more than your body was capable of.
Instead of increasing repetitions, you could try to increase the number of sets. After a few weeks of regular exercise, you could find that this beginner core workout can be done quickly. This will give you the opportunity to add another set or perhaps add in a completely different exercise to fit your needs. Personally, I would add in the plank when this routine gets too easy. It’s an efficient use of time while keeping the abdomen tightened. For example, if you finish the beginner core workout with 30 seconds to spare, flip yourself over and go into the plank position for the remainder of the time.
That’s all there is to it. This 10 minute beginner core workout is a great way to start working on the muscles that matter when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. Keep in mind that this is a quick and easy workout. The more difficult stuff comes later on when your body begins to adapt to the increase in activity. As I am obese, I can safely say that this workout can be easily performed by people of extreme sizes. Just don’t push it too hard. People have been known to have heart attacks and strokes while exercising, especially when they try to go beyond their physical abilities.