This ‘around the world’ plank series works every muscle in your core in just 5 minutes


Thumbnail for This ‘around the world’ plank series works every muscle in your core in just 5 minutes
Pin It
Photo: Getty Images/ zoranm

Whenever it comes time to do a core workout on my own, I tend to crunch myself into oblivion for five minutes, then flip over and finish things off in a plank. Thrilling stuff, huh? Not only is this series super boring (true story: I’ve actually almost fallen asleep in the middle of doing it), it also completely ignores all of the other muscles in the midsection aside from your abs, like your back and obliques.

But this morning, during a class at New York City’s 305 Fitness, trainer Samantha Barriento introduced me to an “around the world abs” sequence that left every square inch of my core positively quaking in the best (and least boring) possible way.

Here’s how it works: You start off in a plank, then cycle through a series of moves on your sides and back in order to target all 360-degrees of your core. You’re essentially moving your body in a circle—or, “around the world”—to be sure you don’t miss a single muscle. “This sequence will get at the main muscle groups in your abdominal area and will help you feel supported,” says Barriento.

Just follow these simple moves, and your entire core will be stronger in five minutes flat… without running the risk of wanting a nap mid-workout.

  1. Forearm plank: Start in a forearm plank, engaging your abs and glutes to lengthen the spine and making sure your head is in line with your bum. Hold for 30 seconds.
  2. Hip dips: Holding your plank, move your hips back and forth from side to side. This will activate the obliques and transverse abdominals. Repeat 32 times.
  3. Right side plank: Dropping your right arm down to your forearm, come into a side plank, which targets your right obliques. Hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Right side plank dips: In your side plank, begin lifting and lowering the pelvis to increase oblique contraction on the inferior side of your body. Repeat 16 times.
  5. Crunches: Coming to your back, move through some standard crunches. Place your hands at the lower part of the back of your head, and lift your head up towards the ceiling rather than in to your belly. Repeat 16 times.
  6. Leg lifts: Lift your legs straight up toward the ceiling, and begin lowering for two counts and raising for two counts (keeping those legs straight!) to target your lower abdominals. If you need a little extra support, move your hands underneath your butt. Repeat 16 times.
  7. Left side plank: Turning onto your left forearm, hold a side plank for 30 seconds.
  8. Left side plank dips: Raise and lower your hips on the left side, contracting your obliques. Repeat 16 times.
  9. Mountain climbers: Come back to your standard high plank, and take a slower tempo mountain climber for 30-45 seconds to finish.

Complement your core workout with some dancer-approved leg moves, or a resistance band back workout that will perk up your posture in no time at all.

Loading More Posts...