If you’re following along with our 28-day ReNew Year Movement Program with Ashley Joi, welcome to your second week. If this is your first time joining us, know that there’s no time like the present to start adding exercise into your daily routine. All month long, we’re bringing you daily bite-sized workouts to encourage you to get moving and give your body and mind the boost they need.
Today’s workout—which you can get done in only six minutes—is all about your stabilizing your center muscles. “It’s so important to have a strong and stable core,” says Joi. “It’s the center of everything.” Later in the week, Joi will be leading us through some more targeted upper-body exercises, and right now we’re laying the groundwork by tapping into those abdominal muscles. When you move on to working your arms and shoulders in the coming days (or in any other workout you choose to do this week), you’ll need to engage your core in order to maintain proper form, and firing up the area with this routine will help you do it properly.
Follow along with Joi for this six-minute core stability workout that will take you through a sequence of specific, intentional movements that will set you up for success in your workouts all week long. If—and when—this sequence starts to heat up, Joi has luckily given you a mantra to get you through: I can do this! And we know you can, too.
Try this 6-minute core stability workout
1. Birddog + alt crunch: This move is the holy grail of stability exercises. Start off on all fours, and extend one arm out in front of you and the opposite leg straight back behind you. While keeping the other hand and knee solidly planted on the ground, crunch through your abdominals to bring the elbow of your extended hand to meet your opposite knee. Switch sides. Pro tip: Try not to rock back and forth for some extra stabilization.
2. Side plank + knee drive T-spine rotation (right): What’s a core workout without a plank variation? Start on your right side, with your right shoulder stacked over your right elbow, core tight, and legs out straight. Reach your left hand back behind your head, and crunch down, tapping your left elbow to the ground. For that last little bit of heat, crunch your left knee up to meet your left elbow.
3. Side plank + knee drive T-spine rotation (left): Time to hit this plank combo on your left side. Feel free to modify by skipping the tap down with the elbow or the crunch, and just hold that side plank nice and strong.
4. Isometric crunch hold: For this move, you’ll be staying completely still. But don’t be fooled—it’s still a challenge. Lie flat on your back, bring your legs up into a tabletop position (with your knees bent), and press your hands into your knees while keeping your head and shoulders on the ground. Pretend you covered your palms in superglue: If someone came in front of you and tried to pull your legs away from your hands, they shouldn’t be able to.
5. Ins and outs: Time to put that core stability to the test. Sitting up on your tailbone and leaning back slightly, extend your arms out to your sides and your legs out in front of you, hovering a few inches off the ground. While keeping your core nice and tight, slowly hug your knees into your chest and extend back out again.
6. Forearm plank with arm extension: By this point in your workout, you’re no stranger to the plank game. Let’s hit that proper plank form checklist: head in line with your spine, shoulders over elbows, core tight, and legs straight out behind you. Now, it’s time to test that balance one more time by reaching one arm at a time straight out in front of you (be sure to keep your body stable—no rocking!), and slowly switch from side to side.
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