5 Minute Crunchless Core Workout (Video!)

Shane Barnard, JD
by Shane Barnard, JD
Share it:
5 Minute Crunchless Core Workout (Video!)

Do a 5 minute complete core workout just about anywhere  — without any equipment or a single crunch. The #1 job for your core is to stabilize, so we’re going to focus on the front and the back of your body in this routine!


Duration: 5 min
Repetitions: 6-8 repetitions of each exercise

Arm circles forward and back, criss-cross your arms, torso rotations, squats and side reaches.

1. Inchworm:
Stand with your legs hip/shoulder width apart and start with your head and roll down to the floor. Keeping legs long, walk hands out until you settle into a plank position.

2. Plank front and side:
Place hands below your shoulders and maintain a neutral spine. Hold plank for a count of 8. (Draw your belly button in towards your spine AND squeeze your glute muscles). Shift into lateral or side plank for more of a challenge, keeping hips lifted for a count of 8. To increase the challenge from a front plank position, reach one leg underneath and across the body and tap the floor.

3. Mountain Climbers: (rotations)
From a plank position pull your right knee toward your right elbow and switch. For more of a challenge add rotation by pulling your right knee underneath you towards your left elbow and switch. To increase the challenge, place your foot on the outside of your hand, then switch feet for Everest climbers.

4. Superman:
From a prone position, squeeze your glute muscles and lift legs and shoulders off the floor and repeat. To increase the challenge extend your arms long.

5. Bicycles:
From a supine position, pull one knee in towards your chest while your other leg is extended long, hovering over the floor. Contract your abs and lift your shoulders off of the floor and support your head with your hands. Switch legs keeping your shoulders lifted and belly button pulled towards your spine. To increase the challenge pull both legs in and extend both legs simultaneously.

6. Hip Thrust:
Add a power element by pulling both legs in and thrust your legs (hips) off the floor using your abdominals. Allow yourself to roll up and repeat. To increase the challenge drop both legs towards the floor instead of rolling up.

7. Windshield Wiper Abs:
From a supine position, place your arms in a “T” shape and bring your knees and ankles together. Keeping your trunk stable, drop your legs from right to left, keeping your torso engaged.  To increase the challenge, extend your legs long.

About the Author

Shane Barnard, JD
Shane Barnard, JD

Shane is NASM, ACE, AFAA and USATF certified and the creator and founder of the Urbankick format and instructor certifications, co-founder of Urbanplay, a non-profit health and fitness education program for youth, and a business partner at Studio360. With over 20 years of fitness experience, she is a nationally recognized presenter and currently teaches at Crunch, Fitness SF, and the University of California at Berkeley, where she is a health coach. Shane is a CEC provider for ACE and AFFA and an honored ambassador for lululemon. You can work out with Shane and Urbankick anytime, anywhere at BooyaFitness.com.


15 responses to “5 Minute Crunchless Core Workout (Video!)”

  1. Eric says:

    How often should we be doing the 5 min work out before we should expect results?

    • george says:

      Great question

    • J says:

      It depends on what sort of results you’re after. I’ve been doing a similar 5 minute core circuit as a part of my warm up when I do body weight strength training or go for a run. After a couple of months I’ve definitely been able to handle the exercises a lot easier, with better form.

  2. Kali says:

    Supermans are horrible on your back! The amount of force your spine has to endure is not good!

    • Ed says:

      “Prone position” is face down, so you would not be doing Superman on you back. If it said “supine position” that would mean face up, which would have you on your back.

    • Mike says:

      Why are Supermans bad for your back? That is a standard yoga position (sometimes called Boat). The focus should be on lengthening your spine and reaching with arms and legs, not compressing the spine to come off the ground.

  3. lea says:

    I have herniated disc in my back. I had three c_ sections and really want to get rid of my pregnant belly. How can I achieve this?

    • Jill says:

      Depending on how you were cut for the C sections, your abdominal muscles will not rebuild the same way as they once did. This is NOT to say you can’t tone and get fit. I have suffered with a back injury to my L5-S1 for 10 years and I can no longer do sit ups but have found superman ,planks and an excercise ball can do wonders to strengthen your core muscles and even reduce some of the chronic discomfort. Yoga is a great way to get started too.Best of luck, you can do it!

  4. Kali says:

    Sorry.. I did mean for your back. Thanks @BrightBlueSkies

  5. Ricky says:

    Is there a particular reason not to do crunches?

  6. Fat Girl says:

    I cant do any of those moves you did except get on hands and knees. Too much belly in the way.

  7. Jillian says:

    These 5 minute workouts are great for people that have very little time for themselves. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Karen fitzgibbon says:

    Ooh they look awesome! Bring it on!! Thanks for sharing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MyFitnessPal desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest health and fitness advice.


Click the 'Allow' Button Above


You're all set.