Fitness Tips

If You’re Having Trouble With Form During Your Core Workouts, a Trainer Says To Do This

Each month, a new trainer takes us through four of the best workouts they have in their back pocket. Follow along weekly for new ways to sweat it out with us. See All

An important lesson to keep in mind during any type of workout: "Faster" does not necessarily mean "better"—especially if you're sacrificing your form for the sake of the cause. So if you've been putting speed above everything else during your workouts, this core-centric episode of Trainer of the Month Club is your sign to slow down.

"This isn't about speed—I want you to make sure that you're keeping your core engaged the entire time," says Anissia Hughes, NASM-certified trainer and creator of the Bodyweight Strength with Anissia workouts on the Sweat app. In the episode, she demos a quick core circuit workout that takes just under 10 minutes. The point is to engage your core, even if that means slowing down your reps. "If you feel like you're swiveling too much, slow down the move a little bit," she says. This way, you'll be able to better target your core instead of just banging out crunches as quickly as possible.

The workout consists of four moves done for 30 seconds each for a total of three rounds. Ready to sweat? Press play and follow along with the movements below.

9-minute core circuit workout with Anissia Hughes

Perform three total rounds.

1. Commando toe-taps: Get into a high-plank position with your hands pressing into the ground. Come down on one elbow, then the opposite elbow so that you're in a forearm plank. Then, one arm at a time, go back into your starting plank position. From there, push your hips toward the sky to bring your opposite hand to the opposite toe, then do the same on the other side. You can modify by taking out the elbow plank.

2. Spider planks: Get back into that high plank position with your hands pressed into the ground. Draw in through your abs to bring one knee outside your body to touch your elbow (right knee goes to right elbow, left knee goes to left elbow), then go back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

3. Bicycle crunch to toe-tap: Start in a crunch position, with your hands behind your head and your shoulders slightly lifted off of the ground. Straighten your legs in front of you and lift them so that they hover above the ground. Bring opposite knee to opposite elbow, then bring it back to center. From there, use the same arm to reach toward the same toe, keeping your arm and leg straight. Bring it back to center. Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Boat holds: Start sitting on your tailbone, with your shoulders upright and your legs out in front of you. Lift your legs off of the ground as you lean your shoulders back to engage your abs. Reach your arms forward so that they're in line with your legs, keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Hold.

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