For the past three weeks—in honor of our ReNew Year Movement Program—trainer Ashley Joi has been leading us through a customizable movement plan designed to prove that increasing your activity levels in 2021 doesn’t have to mean dramatically transforming your lifestyle. As she’s proven in her series of under-15-minute workouts, a few simple changes are all it takes. If you’ve been following along, by now you should definitely be feeling the benefits of injecting a daily dose of movement into your routine. Whether you’re sleeping a little bit sounder, feeling more energized throughout the day, or just noticing that your daily tasks feel a bit easier, you should be proud of yourself for simply showing up.
Each week has been designed to help you reach your fitness goals through targeting strengthening, stabilizing, and stretching workouts. Today, as a celebration of making it to the final week of this program, Joi is bringing us together for a five-minute cardio core workout with one easy goal: Let loose and have fun. Hit play on the video above for a quick series of heart-pumping core-focused movements, but be warned: In this case, quick does not mean easy.
Try these 5 moves in 5 minutes for a stronger core
1. High knees: We’re starting off this workout by running in place—also known as high knees. This move is a great way to raise your heart rate and strengthen your core at the same time. Jog your knees up to your chest, pump your arms, and then take your high knees to over to your right and left sides to boost that agility. Be sure to engage your abdominal muscles as you move to reap the full benefits of the exercise.
2. Squat to cross knee drive: This low-intensity move will allow you to slow things down and (slightly) catch your breath. Place your hands behind your head, set your feet slightly wider than hip’s width distance apart, and bring your butt towards the ground. Next, it’s time to hit your midsection. On the way up from your squat, brace your core, and bring one knee at a time up and across your body to meet the opposite elbow.
3. Plank jacks to mountain climbers: Time to bring your heart rate back up. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and send your legs out straight behind you for a strong plank. Next, hop your feet out and back four times, jumping-jack style, then jog your knees toward your chest four times for your mountain climbers. To make any of these moves low impact, step your feet out and back instead of jumping. “You can move very quickly even if you take out the impact,” Joi says.
4. Knee drive to split squat: Pop up to your feet for a move that combines lower body strength, core, and cardio into one. In a split stance (with your feet planted slightly wider than your shoulders), bring one knee up to your chest at a time, using your arms for extra speed. Next, cycle through four split squats: Start in a lunge with one foot behind you and the other out in front, then jump up to switch positions. Swap out the jumping lunges with regular reverse lunges.
5. Sit-up with cross jabs: Get down on your back for your fifth and final move of this 5-minute cardio core workout. Planting your heels into the ground, use your core to bring yourself up for a full sit-up. Once you’re at the top, bring your fists up to your chin for four cross-body punches. Lower back down to the ground and repeat.
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