Before Christmas, we published a five-minute core workout from Canadian track standout Justyn Knight. As noted in that article, that was the first of two parts of the routine, which is about 10 minutes in total length. Knight, a two-time NCAA champion in cross-country and track, says to perform each workout on this list for 30 seconds before moving right into the next one. If you want to try the full routine for yourself, go ahead with the 10-minute workout, but if you would rather stick with two five-minute sessions, Knight says that’s fine, too. Whatever route you choose, you’ll need Part 2 of the routine, which can be found below.
Any yogis out there will know the boat pose well. Sitting on the floor, lean back slightly and raise your legs so your body is in the shape of a V. Keeping your back straight, reach your arms across that V and touch your knees. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Toes to the sky
Everyone has done this ab exercise one time or another. Lying on your back with your hands resting on the floor at your sides, lift your legs and point them straight into the air. Once you’re set, pulse your legs upward, lifting your hips off the ground before slowly lowering back to the starting position. You should feel this in your lower abs.
Another classic. Start on your back with your legs raised slightly off the floor and your hands behind your head. Crunch forward with one arm at a time, reaching across your body to meet the opposite knee. Tap your elbow and knee, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Lie on your back and bend your legs to at or around 90 degrees. Place your hands by your sides and then lift your hips until your body is straight from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for 30 seconds.
Lying flat on the floor, raise your legs so they’re a few inches off the ground. The distance between your legs and the floor will vary from person to person, and the key is to make sure your legs are as low as possible while still ensuring that your back is perfectly flat to the floor. When you’re set, slowly criss-cross your legs one over the other, back and forth for 30 seconds.
Standing up for this exercise, you’ll perform lunges for 30 seconds. Alternate legs and make sure to keep your back straight. Also be careful not to let your leg cave inward with each lunge.
You can use a weight or medicine ball for this exercise if you would like, but it’s fine to perform it without any equipment, too. Sitting down, lean back slightly (making sure to keep your back straight) and lift your legs off the floor. With your hands clasped together (or holding the weight), slowly lift them from side to side, gently tapping the floor beside each hip.
Lie down with your legs slightly bent, just as you would for a sit-up. Instead of placing your arms across your chest or behind your head, stretch them out straight above your head and then “catapult your way up,” Knight says. He says to shoot upward quickly, reaching forward with your outstretched arms, before slowly lowering back down. Really engage your core for this exercise, as it could hurt your back if you don’t perform it properly.
Also known as the window wiper, the metronome sees your legs swing back and forth beneath you. Lie down and lift your legs up so they point straight at the ceiling. Then, slowly lower them to one side. Briefly pause at the bottom and then raise them to the starting position again, then lower to the other side.