March Core Strength Challenge – Week 1

We’re kicking off the first week of the 12 Minute Athlete March Core Strength Challenge!

Today is the first day of this month’s challenge, and we couldn’t be more excited to dive in to these workouts.

If you missed our post announcing the March challenge with all the details, click here to get the low-down.

We’ve only just begun, so don’t worry! There’s still time to join us. Just download the workout calendar and track your progress on social media with one photo or video each week.

Make sure to use the tag #12MAcore and @12minuteathlete so we can see what you did – you might just make it into our weekly recap post! 

Don’t have the workout calendar? No problem – you can find it on the main page, and you can find all the workout videos on our Instagram and Facebook group.

Here are the exercises for the first week. We’re starting off with a bodyweight equipment-free routine, aim to do the whole circuit at least three times this week. Feel the burn!


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Core Strength Challenge Week 1 Exercises

Complete 3 rounds, resting as little as possible between reps and sets:

  • 50 bicycle crunches
  • 20 v up in/outs
  • 10 side plank reach throughs / side
  • 10 lying windshield wipers
  • 30 second low plank hold

Here’s how to do the exercises:

Bicycle Crunches

How to do it:

  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground, pulling your belly button towards the floor.
  • Put your hands behind your head, then bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
  • Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
  • Switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.

V Up In/Outs

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your hands by your side.
  • Pulling your belly button towards the ground, tuck your knees towards your chest and raise your head and hands off of the floor.
  • Extend your legs until they’re straight in front of you, continuing to press your back into the ground.
    Return your legs to the tuck position. That’s one rep.

Side Plank Reach Throughs

How to do it:

  • Get in a side plank on your elbow. Your shoulders should be directly over your elbow and your feet can either be stacked or placed directly next to one another.
  • Brace your core and squeeze your butt as you reach your top arm towards the sky.
  • Next, while keeping your core tight, reach your top arm down and underneath your body as far as you can.
  • That’s one rep. Make sure to work both sides.

Lying Windshield Wipers

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight and your hands palm down by your side.
  • Keeping your legs as straight as possible, brace your core and raise your legs up until they’re pointing straight above you.
  • Lower to one side, touching or almost touching the ground.
  • Without pausing, immediately raise your legs back up and lower to the opposite side.
  • That’s one rep.

Low Plank Hold

How to do it:

  • Get into a plank hold on your elbows.
  • Pull your belly button towards your spine and keep your hips from rising up.
  • You should focus on pulling your elbows towards your feet while pushing up through your shoulders.


Train hard!

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2 thoughts on “March Core Strength Challenge – Week 1”

  1. Looks good! Just what we need as we get rolling towards summer. Everything starts with a good core. Thanks for the incentive.


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