This 15-Minute Workout Targets Every Angle of Your Core—And There’s Not a Crunch in Sight

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

Core exercises usually happen in one of two positions: lying flat on your back or in a plank. While there's no doubt that these stances set you up to strengthen the muscles you need to do, well, just about everything, they can get pretty boring when you're repeating over and over again. On this week's episode of Trainer of the Month Club, Billie Robyn is breaking that yawn-inducing model with 15 minutes of standing core exercises to help you get up and moving.

"Today, we're going to be doing a standing core and cardio workout. All you need is a set of 10-pound dumbbells," says Robyn (also noting that a set of five-pounders, two-pounders, or... no pounders will work, too). For each of the six moves, you'll complete 40 seconds on and 10 seconds off until you run out the clock and find yourself in a satisfying pool of sweat. And, with the exception of one exercise, you'll be on your feet the entire time. Ready? Let's get started.

Experts In This Article

The 15-minute set of standing core exercises that will burn out every muscle in your midsection

Complete each move for 40 seconds, then rest for 10. Do two total rounds (or more for a longer, even sweatier sesh). 

1. Woodchoppers: Grab your dumbbell between your palms and stagger your feet so they're nice and wide. Bring your dumbbell at your right waist, then engage your core to twist at your torso, swinging the dumbbell up to the left-hand side. Pivot your right foot in as you do so. Swing the dumbbell back to the starting position and continue controlled, quality reps for the next 40 seconds.

Repeat this move on your left side for 40 seconds before moving onto the next move.

2. Standing side crunches: Drop the dumbbell and bring your hands to the back of your head. Engage your abs and bend over to the right, keeping the same amount of weight in each foot. Return to the center and bend over to the left. Forty seconds—let's go!

3. High knees: Still standing, begin jumping your knees up to your chest one at a time. Put your palms face down at your hips and see if you can touch them with your quads or knees as you bring those legs up, up, up. Continue on for 40 seconds.

4. Side lunges: Stand with your dumbbell gripped between your palms. Side lunge to the right, pushing your butt back but keeping your core engaged and your back as straight as possible. Come back to standing. Keep going for 40 seconds.

Repeat this move on your left side for 40 seconds before moving onto the next move.

5. Renegade row: Alright, fam—it's time for the only plank-related move in this sequence. Grab both dumbbells and come into a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders, your glutes engaged, and your core firing up. Grip your dumbbells in your palms so that your hands aren't actually touching the floor. Without moving your hips too much, pull the right elbow straight back. Return to plank and repeat on your left side. Keep alternating.

6. Knee driver: Let go of the weights and stand in a short lunge position with your right foot forward. Extend your arms straight up alongside your ears and clasp your hands together. Drive your left knee into your chest and bring your clasped hands down to meet it at the same time. Return to your short lunge and re-extend your arm. Keep it going for 40 seconds.

Run through this workout once more—and you did it.

Loading More Posts...