The Quick Cardio-Core Killer

If you’re looking for a great full-body interval workout that will not only get your blood pumping, but really work your core, then this is the workout you’re looking for!

This workout combines my Hybrid Exercise technique with active rest to up your calorie burn while strengthening your core. So let’s burn some fat and get that blood pumping!

WARM UP
Stretch and Roll Out:
Calves
Quads
Groin
Hamstring
Hips/Glutes
Back
Shoulders
Wrists

WORKOUT

Set a timer for 30 second intervals with 5 seconds of transition time. Complete 30 seconds on an exercise then take the 5 seconds to move to the next exercise. You will only have the “active rest” break between the 2 rounds of the circuit. Then rest about 30 seconds before moving on to 2 rounds of the next circuit.

CIRCUIT #1:
30 seconds Burpee Sit Thrus
30 seconds Climber Push Ups
30 seconds Banana Twists
30 seconds “Active Rest” Jumping Jacks

CIRCUIT #2:
30 seconds Mountain Climbers
30 seconds Lower Ab Plank
30 seconds Plank Jacks
30 seconds “Active Rest” Wall Sit/Squat Hold

CIRCUIT #3:
30 seconds Split Squat Jacks
30 seconds Plank with Oblique Knee Tucks
30 seconds Alternating V-Ups
30 seconds “Active Rest” Plank Shoulder Taps

COOL DOWN
Stretch and Roll Out:
Calves
Quads
Groin
Hamstring
Hips/Glutes
Back
Shoulders

NOTES:

Regress movements as needed so that you can keep moving the entire 30 seconds. It is better to regress than rest. Also, during the active rest, bring things down as much as needed. The point is to move but to bring your heart rate down a bit while still getting everything to work.

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS:

Burpee Sit Thrus:

burpee variations

To do the Burpee Sit Thru, start standing with your feet together. Then squat down and bend over to place your hands on the ground in front of your feet. As you place your hands on the ground, jump your feet back into a Bulldog position so that your knees are bent with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. From this bent-knee position, kick one leg under your body and through toward the opposite hand as you lift the opposite hand to “sit through.” Rotate open and try to kick through so that you could sit on the ground if needed. You can raise the lifted hand up toward the ceiling or simply lift it to your chest. Then quickly bring the leg back under your body as you lower your hand back down to come back to the Bulldog position. Then sit through on the other side. You will again kick the leg under your body and through as you lift your opposite hand. You want to rotate all the way through so you could actually sit if you lost your balance. Once you’ve performed a Sit Thru to both sides, jump your feet back in toward your hands and lift your hands up to come back up to standing. Jump up off the ground at the top and then repeat the movement. Beginners may find they want to jump back into more of a plank position to make the Sit Thru easier. Advanced exercisers with more mobility will want to perform the Sit Thru from more of a Bulldog hold starting position and will want to move as quickly as possible.

Climber Push Ups:

climber push ups

To do the Climber Push Up, start in a plank from your forearms. You can set your feet wider apart if needed to create a more stable base.  Make sure your body is in a nice straight line from your head to your heels and that your shoulders are stacked over your elbows while on your forearms. Engage your abs and, keeping your body in a nice straight line, climb one hand at a time up to a plank position from your hands. Place your hands right below your shoulders, but outside your chest as you climb up. Try to wiggle your hips as little as possible as you climb and don’t let your butt go up in the air or your hips sag toward the ground as you climb up. Then at the top perform a push up. Keep your body in a nice straight line as you drop your chest between your hands and down toward the ground. Press all the way back up. Beginners can do the whole thing from their knees or even just drop to their knees for the push up. Then climb back down, placing your elbows right below your shoulders. Repeat, climbing back up. Make sure to alternate or switch which hand leads the climb at some point. Keep your body in a nice straight line and your core engaged the entire time to keep your hips as still as possible. Keep your feet wider for more stability or bring them closer together if you can keep your hips still.

Banana Twists:

banana-twists

To do Banana Russian Twists, start lying on your back with your legs out straight in front of you and your arms relaxed overhead on the ground so that your biceps are by your ears. Draw your legs together and keep your arms up by your head as you lift up into Banana. Engage your abs as you press your low back into the ground to crunch your shoulder blades up and lift your legs a few inches up off the ground. Beginners may need to lift their legs up higher to keep their low back against the ground. Do not tuck your chin as you hold in Banana. Try to keep your neck relaxed. Then, without touching your feet down or using your hands to push up, come up to balance on your butt. As you come up to balance on your butt, bending your knees slightly to bring them in toward your chest as you bring your hands down and together in front of your chest. While balanced on your glutes with your feet up off the ground and your hands together, rotate your hands down toward the ground outside one hip and then back up and across your body toward the ground outside the other hip. Try to stay balanced without touching your feet down as you rotate. Bring your hands back center and then lie back down into Banana, extending your arms overhead while straightening your legs out. Do not completely relax out. Keep your abs engaged and press your low back into the ground as you keep your shoulder blades slightly crunched up and your legs up off the ground. Then repeat, sitting back up and twisting each way.

Jumping Jack:

jumping jack

To do the Basic Jumping Jack, start standing nice and tall with your feet together and arms down by your sides. You will then jump both your feet out to the sides so that your feet are shoulder-width apart or wider. As you jump your feet out wide, raise your arms up to the sides and overhead. Then bring your arms back down to your sides as you jump your feet back in together. Repeat, jumping your feet out wide as you raise your arms out to the sides and overhead. You can move quickly to get your blood pumping or even slow it down a bit if you are using for an active recovery move. Beginners or anyone with knee pain, may need to regress the move to the Step Jack.

Mountain Climbers:

mountain-climbers

To do the Mountain Climber, set up in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your feet together and legs out straight behind you. Your body should be in a nice straight line from your head to your heels. Brace your abs before you start so that you don’t feel this in your low back or let your hips sag as you run your knees in. Then, maintaining the nice plank position, begin to run your knees in toward your chest. Bring your right knee in toward your chest with your left leg still out straight. Keep your butt down as you run the knee in. Then straighten your right leg back out as you bring your left knee in toward your chest. “Run” your knees in as quickly as possible until all reps are complete. The faster you go, the harder the move will be. Do not let your butt go up in the air or your hips sag as you run your knees in.

Lower Ab Plank:

leg-lower

The Lower Ab Plank is a variation of the toughest move in the Pelvic Tilt Progression so do not attempt this move if you haven’t mastered the other levels of the Pelvic Tilt or feel this move in your low back when you try and do it. To do the Lower Ab Plank, lie on your back with your arms down by your sides. Raise your legs straight up toward the ceiling and press your low back down into the ground. Then lower your legs down so they are only an inch or two off the ground and hold. You will hold here until the time is up. Engage your abs and your glutes and prevent your low back from taking over. If you feel your low back taking over, raise your legs up higher or slightly bend your knees. You can also do another variation of the Pelvic Tilt and progress from there.

Plank Jacks:

plank-jacks

To do Plank Jacks, start at the top of a push up with your hands under your shoulders and your feet together. Your body should be in a nice straight line from your head to your heels. Brace your abs then jump your feet out wide to each side as if doing a Jumping Jack. As you jump, do not let your butt go way up in the air or your hips sag way down toward the ground. Quickly jump your feet back in together, holding the nice plank position. Do not shrug your shoulders or bend your arms as you go. Also, do not let your hands move forward in front of your shoulders. Repeat, jumping them back out. Keep your core engaged as you jump your feet in and out. Do not let your butt go up in the air or your hips sag as you jump your feet out wide and then back together. Beginners may need to start by stepping one foot at a time out wide and then back together. You can also add some variety to this move and make it more challenging for your inner thighs by doing it with sliders or towels under your feet.

Wall Sit:

wall-sit

To do the Wall Sit, stand with your back to a wall and your feet about hip-width apart. You can change up your exact foot position to hit slightly different aspects of your quads. Then sink down into a squat, pressing your back into the wall behind you as you try to get your quads as close to parallel to the ground as possible. When you sink into the squat, keep your ankles aligned under your knees and drive back into the wall through your entire foot. Do not rock forward onto your toes. Also, do not sink past parallel. Hold there and drive your back into the wall. If you start to feel this in your low back, make sure to brace your abs. Also, do not hunch or lean forward as you hold. Stay up nice and tall. To make this move easier, don’t sink as low in the squat or move your feet out just a bit from the wall. Do not let your ankles get too far out in front of your knees though.

Split Squat Jacks:

split-squat-jacks

To do the Split Squat Jack, start by stepping one foot back and sinking into a lunge with your arms down by your sides. Then jump up off the ground and, as you do, switch to land in a lunge on the other side. As you jump and switch to a lunge on the other side, swing your arms out to the side and overhead. When you land in the lunge on the other side, your arms should be up overhead. Quickly land and then jump right back up and again switch to a lunge on the first side as you lower your arms back down by your sides. Try to jump from lunge to lunge quickly. Beginners may not be able to sink as low in the lunge or move as quickly. They may also want to perform more of a “skip” to switch from lunge to lunge instead of completely jumping up off the ground.

Plank with Oblique Knee Tucks:

plank-with-oblique-knee-tuck

To do the Plank with Oblique Knee Tucks, set up in a Front Plank from your forearms and toes (advanced) or knees (beginner). Stack your elbows under your shoulders and maintain a nice straight line from your head to your knees or toes. From the Front Plank, rotate into a right Side Plank. Keep your bottom hip up and your shoulder stacked above your elbow. As you move into the Side Plank, reach your left hand up and forward over your head. Lift your top leg up and then bring your elbow and knee together. Stay balanced and keep your bottom hip up. Reach both back out again and then rotate back forward into a Front Plank. Switch to a Side Plank on the other side. Again reach the leg and hand out and then bring them together.  Keep alternating sides until all reps are complete. Make sure you keep your hips up, but also don’t let your butt go up in the air as you move through the series.

Alternating V-Ups:

alternating-leg-v-up

To do Alternating V-Ups, lie flat on your back with your legs out straight in front of you and your arms down by your sides.  Lift one leg up toward the ceiling and then lift your other leg up off the ground, squeezing your glute. Press your low back into the ground and engage your abs as you lift your legs up. Then crunch your upper body up as you reach your opposite arm up toward the toes of your raised leg. Press lightly through your arm on the ground as you press your low back into the ground and reach up as high as you can, rotating toward that raised leg. Squeeze your glute of the leg close to the ground to help protect your low back. Do not touch that leg down on the ground. Keep it up higher to make the move easier. Then lower the raised leg as you lift the other leg up toward the ceiling and crunch up to reach up toward that opposite foot. Keep alternating sides. Make sure to keep your low back firmly pressed into the ground as you reach up as high as possible while keeping your legs as straight as possible. Beginners may need to touch one leg down to the ground instead of keeping it up off the ground. They may also need to bend their knees more. Move quickly, crunching up as high as you can.

Plank with Shoulder Taps: 

shoulder-tap-plank

To do the Plank with Shoulder Taps, set up in a high plank position from your hands and toes (advanced) or hands and knees (beginner). Place your hands under your shoulders and closer together while your feet or knees should be wider apart to provide a more stable base. Bring your feet or knees together as the move becomes easier to make it harder on your core to stabilize. By having your hands closer together and more centered under your chest, you will also provide yourself with a more stable base. It is very important that you remain stable with this move or you can stress your shoulder. Then, bracing your abs and engaging your glutes so that your body is in a nice straight line, lift one hand up off the ground, moving it slowly to touch the opposite shoulder. Keep your hips square to the ground and do not rotate as you lift your hand to touch your shoulder. Do not let your butt go up in the air or your hips sag toward the ground. Touch your opposite shoulder then slowly place your hand back down on the ground. You want to move at a very controlled pace. Lift the other hand and tap your other shoulder. Do not rotate as you lift. Try to keep your body still and simply lift the hand to touch the opposite shoulder.

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