Having a strong core means more than just being able to show off rock-hard abs (not that there’s anything wrong with showing off your hard work!). Having a strong midsection is fundamentally important to your body’s ability to carry out a range of functional movements.

What are core muscles?

The term ‘core’ commonly refers to all the muscles in your midsection (front, back and sides). It includes your traverse abdominis, erector spinae, obliques as well as your lower lats.

core muscle strength

What are the benefits of having a strong core?

  • Improved posture
  • Better balance
  • Improved control and efficiency of movement
  • Greater endurance while exercising
  • Reduced likelihood of lower-back pain & injuries

It’s easy to take your core muscles for granted but without a strong midsection, you wouldn’t be able to do relatively simple things like lugging the weekly shopping out of your car or picking up your toddler for a big hug!

Want to strengthen your core muscles with a quick but challenging workout?

If you’re sick of sit-ups but need an abs workout that’ll strengthen your midsection, leave you sore to the core and help you work towards smashing your weight loss goals, why not put this super circuit to the test? All you need is an exercise mat, so you can do this workout virtually anywhere for a quick attack on your tummy area!

Sam’s Quick Core Workout

1/ Leg lowers x 20 Reps

They might seem easy at first, but if you’re doing it right, this is one of those core exercises that’ll have your abs burning in no time. Lay flat and straight on your back and slowly raise and lower your legs within a range that is comfortable for you. Make sure your hands and lower back are always on the floor. Keep your movements slow and controlled and really focus your mind on your lower abdominal muscles.

2/ Crunches with elevated feet x 30 reps

Stay on your back, but now raise your legs to a 90-degree angle to your hips, with your knees bent and ankles crossed. Take a preparation breath and, as you exhale, curl up into a crunch. Breath in as you lower down. Repeat that 30 times and feel the burn in your upper abdominals!

3/ Side plank (for as long as you can)

Lay on your left side, keeping your body straight and aligned.

Put your elbow under your shoulder and use it for support as you raise your hips off the ground and hold. This might be a static hold but you will definitely feel it. Keep your chest open and keep a straight line from your head down to your toes.

Now lay on your right side and do it all over again

This is the final exercise in this core crunching abs workout so give it all you can – you’ve got this!

Repeat this quick core workout routine three times and I promise, if you weren’t sure before today, you’ll definitely know where your abs are tomorrow!

Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change. Sam Wood has over 18 years experience in the health and fitness industry, and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators. He is also the founder and trainer at Australia’s number one online fitness and nutrition program, and owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed.