Your 9-Minute Bodyweight Core Workout

Henry Halse
by Henry Halse
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Your 9-Minute Bodyweight Core Workout

If your goal is to have a shredded six-pack, ab exercises shouldn’t be your priority. In fact, if you want to lose fat, lowering your calorie intake is more effective than working out. When you hit the gym, you should use full-body exercises that burn more calories like burpees or its alternatives. Ab exercises are just the icing on the cake.

However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore these muscles. Having a stronger core can help prevent back pain and injury. That’s why, even if you’re pressed for time, you should include some core training in your routine.

This nine-minute bodyweight and core routine alternates between full-body and core exercises. When you do an exercise that works multiple muscle groups, such as a pushup or burpees, you’re going to get tired quickly. That’s why you should alternate between these physically taxing exercises and a challenging core movement.


When you do a core exercise it’s a break from your bodyweight workout and vice-versa. In this workout you’ll do six exercises total for 30 seconds per exercise. After you’ve completed each exercise in the order provided, you’ll repeat the circuit twice with no rest. In all, you’re doing nine minutes of exercise without any breaks, so have your water bottle and towel handy!


The move: Start in the pushup position with your hands under your shoulders and feet shoulder-width apart. Drop down into the bottom position of a pushup. As you press yourself back up, reach your right arm toward the ceiling and rotate your whole body with your arm.

At the top you should be in a side plank position with your right arm pointing straight up to the ceiling, left arm locked out underneath you and feet pointing to the right. Then, go back to the pushup position and do a pushup. This time, rotate to the left. Keep alternating for 30 seconds.


The move: Now that your arms are exhausted, flip over onto your back and put your hands behind your head. Plant your feet on the ground about a foot in front of your butt and bend your knees. Sit up, keeping your feet on the ground if possible, until your elbows touch your thighs. Then, slowly lower yourself back down and repeat until 30 seconds is up.


The move: From the ground, stand up and get ready to work your legs. To do a squat jump, throw your arms down, stick your butt back and bend your knees. Then, throw your arms up as you jump up as high as possible. Land softly, bending your legs to absorb the impact. After you land, go straight into the next jump. If you need to take a break to lessen the impact, you can simply do bodyweight squats.


The move: Lie down on your side, with your elbow planted directly under your shoulder. Your forearm should be pointing straight forward. Stack your legs on top of each other and, with your entire body facing sideways, lift your hips off of the ground. Your body should be in a straight line.

Once you’re comfortable with this position, or you need more of a challenge, lift your top leg off of your bottom leg. You should immediately feel more strain. Switch sides after 15 seconds to keep things even, then move onto the next exercise.


The move: The burpee is a mish-mosh of a few exercises. You’ll start standing, then put your hands on the ground and kick your legs back so you’re in a pushup position. Then, you’ll drop down into a pushup and press yourself back up. After that, jump your legs back in and stand up. At the top you’ll do one jump squat, then go back down to the ground and do a pushup. Keep moving until 30 seconds is up.


The move: For the last core exercise you’ll do a tension plank. The setup is the same as a normal plank. Put your elbows on the ground underneath your shoulders, with your forearms pointing straight forward. Lift yourself up into a plank position so only your toes and forearms are on the ground. Your body should form a straight line.

From here, think about pulling your elbows and toes together by dragging them across the ground. At the same time, lift your hips up slightly. You should feel your ab muscles engage and you might even start shaking. Keep pulling as hard as you can for 30 seconds. When you’re done, go back to the beginning of the circuit, and repeat until you’ve completed three rounds.

About the Author

Henry Halse
Henry Halse

Henry is a personal trainer and writer who lives in New York City. As a trainer, he’s worked with everyone from professional athletes to grandparents. To find out more about Henry, you can visit his website at, or follow him on Instagram @henryhalse.


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