I love being able to do basic functional exercises anywhere, no matter the time of day or location!
This is truly what being “functional” and having “no excuses” means:
-taking advantage of what you have around you, despite the circumstances.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
A great functional exercise, that is the foundation of building a strong core while offering you the ability to do it anywhere (hence, no excuses), is the Plank.
This exercise consists of holding the top push-up position, while on your elbows instead of your hands. Being in the plank position requires the body to maintain a horizontal plane, which is forcing your core to work harder to maintain proper body alignment throughout this exercise.
Another no-excuse core exercise that can be done anywhere is the Bicycle.
I love this exercise because it targets the whole core, while allowing for rotational movement as well.
To perform this, you’ll be laying on your back on the ground. Next, bend your knees and bring your lower body into a table top position. Then, you’ll want to extend one leg – let’s say your right leg – while bringing the right elbow/shoulder towards the opposite bent leg.
I like to think to myself: opposite knee to elbow/shoulder. You’ll hold that for a 3 count and then repeat on the other side. Once you have this down, it will be a continuous “bicycle” movement that really burns your core!
Once you finish with the above two exercises, you’ll be wondering if you’re done yet! Well, you are not! We have three more exercises left.
The next no-excuse core exercise that yields fantastic results is called the Leg Drop.
This is performed while lying with your back on the floor. Keeping your legs straight, raise them up until they’re vertical, then slowly lower back down towards the ground stopping just short of the floor. Lower back down, stopping just short of the ground, about an inch above the ground, to keep tension on your abs before the next rep.
After this exercise, we’ll move into a Side Plank. With this no-excuse core exercise, you’ll perform it very similar to the regular plank, except on one side of your body.
Obviously whichever side you decide to start with, you’ll have to also repeat on the other side. You’ll start with your forearm on the ground, resting on the side of your hip, thigh and knee. Next, you’ll want to lift your hip up towards the sky, trying to keep your body in alignment, without leaning forward or backward.
To make it harder, straighten your legs and balance on the side of your foot, while keeping the hip lifted.
The last exercise that hits the no excuse core workout is the Flutter Kick.
Starting on your back, with legs straight and arms extended at your sides lift your heels about six inches off the ground, while quickly moving your feet in a scissor-like motion. To add a twist to this exercise, also try crossing your feet horizontally, in a quick-motion, to target the inner thigh.
Put all of these exercises together and you’ll have a great “no-excuse” core circuit workout.
Here is a sample below:
Sets: 3 Reps – Hold for 30 sec., Rest: 60 sec.
Sets: 3 Reps – 20 (each side), Rest: None, continuous movement of reps.
3. Leg Drops
Sets: 3 Reps – 15 (each side), Rest: None, continuous movement of reps.
4. Side Plank
Sets: 3 Reps – Hold for 30 sec., Rest: 60 sec., Repeat on other side.
5. Flutter Kicks
Sets: 3 Reps – 20 (each leg), Rest: None, continuous movement of reps.
I can’t wait for you to try this No Excuse Core Circuit and feel the burn across your mid-section.
Remember that as you continue to increase in your fitness, you’ll want to progress held time/reps and decrease rest time between each movement to continue to challenge yourself and keep progressing!