Be consistent about training your core, but vary your exercises to target different sections of your core. And if you’re training your core muscles to the point of intense fatigue and soreness, give yourself a break. Taking a day or two off won’t set you back, and pain is no one’s friend.

So if you’re someone who begrudgingly adds core work onto the end of your workout, or you only do it when you “feel like it,” this quick circuit might be your soul mate. You’ll spend less time doing this circuit than you would standing in line for the bathroom.

This workout has five movements total, each done for 60 seconds with minimal rest in between. If you need to pause in between exercises, that’s totally fine; the workout will just be a few minutes longer. If you can’t complete the full 60 seconds, you can break each exercise up into two sets of 30 seconds, or shorten the overall exercise time to 45 seconds.

Upright Plank:

How to:

  • Assume a push-up position, making sure that your spine is neutral, your hips aren’t piked up (no butts in the air), and your shoulders are stacked over your wrists.
  • You want to maintain a straight line from head to heel.
  • Focus on your breath, and hold for 60 seconds.

Related article: Enhance Your Core With This 7 Plank Variation Workout And See The Difference

Side Plank:

How to:

  • From your upright plank, rotate your body and re-centre your weight while lifting one arm to the sky.
  • Your body should be facing the side, and your chest should be open.
  • Make a conscious effort to lift your hips up (it’s easy to let them sag in this pose) and keep a straight line from head to heel.
  • Then stack your feet on top of each other and hold.
  • If you feel unstable with stacked feet, you can modify by staggering your feet.
  • Hold for 30 seconds on each side.

Related article: 5 Core Exercises In 5 Minutes To Help Build Your Strength And Confidence

Static Boat Pose:

How to:

  • Next, lie down on your back to begin static boat pose.
  • This is an isometric hold, meaning there’s no repeated movement involved.
  • Raise your legs up to a 45-degree angle, put your arms by your side, and then curl up like you would in a crunch, and hold.
  • Ensure that your lower back is flat against the ground and you aren’t tensing your neck or shoulders.
  • To modify, bring your legs to table top position.
  • Hold for 60 seconds or two sets of 30 seconds with a pause in between.

Related article: Avoid These 6 Missteps When Trying To Chisel Washboard abs


How to:

  • From static boat pose, bring your legs to table top and put your hands behind your head.
  • Keeping your lower back pressed to the ground, curl your body up into a crunch and then lower yourself back down.
  • Do this as many times as you can in a minute without sacrificing your form—aka err on the side of slow.
  • Intention is more important than speed, and you don’t want to strain your neck.

Related article: Get Closer to That Six-Pack With These 9 Hard-Core Abs Exercises

Dead Bug:

How to:

  • Finish your workout with a dead bug pose.
  • Start by lying flat on your back and bringing legs to table top with arms straight out in front of you.
  • Relax your neck.
  • Lower your right arm and left leg simultaneously (opposite arm and opposite leg) so that they’re a few inches above the ground.
  • From here, you have the option to return your arm and leg to starting position, switch which arm and leg you lower, and continuously alternate for a minute.