When people think CORE WORKOUTS, many just focus on the abdominal muscles for a few minutes. Maybe a set of two minutes and you are done. However, the core is much more, as you need to consider the core as the spine and the connections immediately branching from the spine.
When you do the "core workouts," make sure you exercise the stomach muscles but do not forget the lower back muscles, upper back muscles, hips, and rear shoulders.
Check out the circuit below for a mix of exercises. In the process, you will likely realize you have one area that is weaker than the other. Correct this imbalance and focus on the ENTIRE CORE to do so.
Warmup the core with a variety of ab/back exercises: Crunches 20 Reverse crunches 20 Left/right crunches 20 each Advanced Crunches 20 Lower back swimmers 1 min Plank poses – 1 min each (regular, left side, right side) Upper back reverse pushups 1 min Birds – 1 min TRX rollouts – 1 min TRX atomic pushup – 1 min Side bends – 1 min Hanging knee ups – 1 min Bear crawl – Basically a moving plank pose – by crawling on all fours - 1 min Stair crawls – An advanced version of the bear crawl – 1 min Dirty dogs – 1 min each side Farmer walk – 1 min (weight in one hand – 1 min each)
This is a 20-minute core exercise circuit focusing on stomach muscles, lower back, isometric poses for core muscles, upper back, movements of full core, lateral side movements, hips, and full body movements with core focus.
Personally, I like to do this core workout as a warmup prior to a cardio event or as a cooldown after the workout is done -- well almost done.