Core workouts are a pain, but they're important for everyone. Whether you're a martial artist, a runner, a bodybuilder, or someone who has always dreamed of having a six-pack, you can't get by without working your back, sides, and stomach.
Here are the three that have worked best for me:
This one is thanks to Tony Horton and the P90X program, though I have no doubt others did it before him.
: Lie on your stomach, arms extended over your head and legs straight. Lift your shoulders and knees off the floor to assume the Superman position.
Count to 5, then - without using your hands - roll over onto your back into the Banana position.
Count to 5 again, and return to the Superman position.
Switch to your stomach and back 6 times each for a 60-second workout.
Whether or not it's actually a Russian exercise is debatable, but suffice it to say it's effective!
Sit with your knees bent, your feet on the floor, and your hands at your sides. Raise your feet 3 inches from the floor and lean back to keep your balance.
Without allowing your feet to touch the floor, reach to touch the ground on your right side, then on your left side.
Continue to touch the ground on either side of you, keeping your feet off the ground.
If you can do 30 to 50 reps per side, your core will be in great shape!
Plank with Side Reach
It's a static exercise, but one that is guaranteed to have your upper body burning!
Get into plank position.
Place your body weight on your right hand, and reach the left hand as high into the air as you can. Make sure to keep your body straight, and hold for a count of 10.
Return your left hand to the floor, and use it to support your weight as you reach up high with your right hand for another 10-count.
Do this just 3 times per side, and your core will be burning in 60 seconds.