June Core Challenge Week 1: Bodyweight Core Exercises

Welcome to the first week of the June Core Challenge! 

If you missed the post where we shared the goals and details of this challenge, you can find it here.

This week, we’ll be working on the basics – finding balance and stabilization in our core using just our own bodyweight.

And while they may seem simple at first glance, don’t discount the basics! They should be a staple in everyone’s workout, no matter what your fitness level.

Here are the exercises for Week 1 (make sure to follow along on Instagram or the Facebook group for the videos):

Core Strength Challenge Week 1 Exercises

Perform 3 rounds: 

  • Plank hold
  • Rocking Plank
  • V ups (either full version or split leg)
  • Plank hip dips
  • Hollow body holds (full or modified version)

Here’s how to do the exercises:

Plank Hold

It’s up to you whether you’d like to do a high plank (on your hands) or low plank (on your forearms).

Some people find that they feel more core engagement in one or the other, so experiment and figure out what works for you. Better yet, do both!

Get in a push up position or forearm plank position. Tighten your stomach and firm up your thighs and stay in this position. Don’t let your butt pike up or your hips sink!

Recommended time: For beginners, 30 seconds is a good starting point. For more advanced athletes, aim for at least a minute with a perfect form.

Rocking Plank

Get into a forearm plank position (the low plank). Keeping your abs tight, thighs squeezed and body straight, shift your weight over your shoulders and then back again. Keep going back and forth.

Recommended time: Aim for 30-60 seconds.

V Ups

There are many variations of V ups, but we’re going to focus on the most advanced version as well as one that’s slightly easier.

Advanced version: Full V Ups

Lie down on your back, arms reached over head and legs straight. Lift your upper and lower body together and equally and bring your hands and feet to touch.

Recommended rep count: 10-20 reps.

Beginner Version: Split Leg V Ups

Lie down on your back, arms reached over head and legs straight. Lift your upper body and right leg, then lower back down. Lift your upper body and left leg, then lower back down. Keep alternating sides.

The split leg v up variation also works your obliques, which makes it a great option for even more advanced athletes.

Recommended rep count: 10 reps each side.

Plank Hip Dips

This exercise is a great oblique strengthener! It’s tougher than it looks, so don’t get discouraged if it feels really hard at first – it gets better with time and practice.

Get into a forearm plank position (the low plank). Lower your right hip so that it touches the ground briefly, then lower the left. Keep going back and forth between the right and left side.

Recommended rep count: 15-20 reps each side.

Hollow Body Hold

This is a great core strengthener and is also one of our favorite ways to build strength for handstands.

Advanced Version: Full Hollow Body Hold

Lie down flat on your back and contract your abs, pulling your belly button towards the floor. Your arms and legs should be held straight out from the body with hands and toes pointed.

Slowly raise your shoulders and legs from the ground as you keep your lower back in contact with the floor and squeeze your butt.

Your goal should be to find the lowest position that you can hold your arms and legs without them touching the floor and without breaking lower back contact.

Recommended time: As long as possible without breaking the form.

Beginner version: Arms Toward Feet 

Lie down keeping your belly button pressed towards the floor. Reach your arms towards your feet. You can also try bending your knees instead.

Recommended time: As long as possible without breaking the form.

Happy training!

Remember to post your workout photos and videos to our Facebook group and tag #12MAcorechallenge and @12minuteathlete on Instagram!

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