Core By Creation

Watch out world, summer body in progress.

This total-body core routine is no joke. It is designed as a progressive challenge packed with fresh new moves that keep your abs (and you!) engaged and stronger with each repetition.

Start with one round and then progress to two or three rounds.


Standing Roll-Downs

Reps: 10
Sets: 1

  1. Begin standing with your knees slightly bent.
  2. Tuck your chin and begin to curl your spine, one vertebra at a time, as you roll down to reach to your toes.
  3. Roll back up slowly, one vertebra at a time.

Diagonal Burpees

Reps: 10
Sets: 1

  1. Begin standing.
  2. Drop into a squat, place your hands on the floor and jump your feet back to a plank.
  3. Hop your feet together to the outside your right hand, and then jump your feet back to a plank.
  4. Jump both feet forward to a wide squat, and then stand.
  5. Drop into a squat, place your hands on the floor and jump your feet back to a plank.
  6. Hop your feet together to the outside of your left hand, and then jump your feet back to a plank.


Rolling Elbow Planks

Reps: 10 (alternating sides)
Sets: 1

  1. Begin in a low plank position, with your elbows stacked under your shoulders, forearms on the floor and parallel to each other, and your body in a perfectly straight line. Hold for 30 seconds.
  2. Stack your forearms by bringing your right hand and forearm perpendicular to your left forearm and then folding your left hand and forearm on the floor in front of your right forearm.
  3. Keeping your body perfectly straight, open your right forearm as you rotate to your right into a side plank, reaching your arm to the ceiling.
  4. Roll back to center and rotate to your left, opening your left arm into a side plank in one continuous movement. Continue to roll through the center to each side, alternating sides.

Star V-Hold

Reps: 10 per side
Sets: 1

  1. Lie on your back with your arms and legs extended in a big X.
  2. Contract your core, keep your arms and legs straight, and reach your right hand and left foot to touch your toes in midair.
  3. Return to the starting position. Contract your core, and reach your left hand and right foot to touch your toes in midair.

Reverse Pull-Over Crunch

Reps: 20
Sets: 1

  1. Use a medicine ball or free weight for this move. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Push the medicine ball straight up to the ceiling and lift your knees so they are stacked over your hips and your shins are parallel to the floor, feet flexed. Bend your elbows 90 degrees to hold the medicine ball above your forehead.
  3. Engage your core and maintain a neutral spine. Lower the ball to touch the floor just behind your head as you lower your feet to let your toes touch the floor.
  4. Keep your core engaged, and pull your elbows and knees to the center in a full-body crunch. Be sure to maintain a 90-degree angle in your elbows and knees.

Side-Plank Toe Touch

Reps: 10 per side
Sets: 1

  1. Begin in a low plank on your forearms, and then roll to the right into a side plank, with your feet staggered heel to toe, your inner thighs engaged. Keep your body stiff.
  2. Make sure your bottom (left) elbow is lined up under your left shoulder, and extend your top (right) arm overhead to make a straight line from fingertips to toes.
  3. Exhale and lift your bottom (left) leg and reach your top (right) hand toward your left foot.
  4. Hold for three to five seconds.

Superman Namaste

Reps: 20
Sets: 1

  1. Begin by lying prone with your forehead resting on your hands, your legs together and your pelvis in a neutral position.
  2. Extend and lift your arms and legs to perform a total-body back extension.
  3. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders and lower your feet. Use your hands and feet to propel yourself straight up into a wide squat, with your hands in a prayer position.

Marching Bridge

Reps: 10 per side
Sets: 1

  1. Lie on your back with your arms next your sides, palms facing up, and a neutral spine.
  2. Push your heels into the ground as you lift your hips as high as possible into a bridge, forming a straight line from knee to shoulder.
  3. Keeping your body stable, lift one foot off the ground, foot flexed and knee at 90 degrees. Do not allow the other hip to drop or twist. Lower your foot, release your hips and lift the other foot. Repeat, alternating sides.

Hanging Leg Lifts

Reps: 20
Sets: 1

  1. Find a bar to hang from. Keep your body taut, starting in a full hanging release.
  2. Begin to pull your body up until you feel your shoulder blades are engaged and anchored down into your back. Contract your abs and pull your knees up toward your chest.
  3. Release your knees and lower yourself to a full hanging position.
  4. Work toward progressing the movement by keeping your legs straight, contracting your abs and hinging your hips to bring up your feet.

Bench V-Sits

Reps: 20
Sets: 1

  1. Start seated on the edge of a bench. Place your hands behind your hips on either side of the bench, and holding the edges, lean back, keeping your spine neutral.
  2. With legs together and core engaged, pull your knees toward your chest as you crunch your core.
  3. Extend your legs and lean back as far as possible without losing your core engagement or neutral spine.

Photo credit: Eyecandy Images, ThinkStock
Videos credit: Windstar Studios
Hair, make-up and grooming: Jessica Chenowyth
Models: Auriana Sandoval, 24 Hour Fitness Castle Rock; Austin Poppa, 24 Hour Fitness Colorado Springs