Core strength isn’t rocket science. No need to overthink this. Below are six exercises. You’ve seen them before. You’ve done them before. You’ve wished they worked before. The difference? You’ll be doing them in a sequence that is most conducive to targeting your core muscles.

The added bonus? You’ll only be doing one set of each — until you can’t do them anymore. That’s right. You chose your intensity and your body will decide how far you can go. This allows you to progressively get better based on your own fitness level. You don’t need some guy telling you to reach 12 reps if you can’t get past eight on your first effort. You do your best each time and this plan will get you to your best core strength ever!



The plank is a great starter to your core workout. As there aren’t actual reps here, the goal is to hold your body in a straight line like in the photo for as long as you can. According to certified personal trainer Brian Pankau, this is “the best core exercise you can perform because it activates muscles throughout your body.”

Bicycle Crunch

Getting into the rhythm of the bicycle crunch is key. Mimic the motion your legs would make on a bike and bring your elbow to your opposite knee as in the photo. Pankau explains these crunches are “great for the obliques and abs, but also help warm-up your trunk and lower body joints for training.”

Double Crunch
Get a little old school here with the double crunch, but don’t you dare pull your neck forward or swing your legs to complete a rep!

Pankau told us, “The key to this exercise is getting your tailbone and shoulders off the floor.”


You hated V-sits as a kid and you might hate them even more now, but you can’t argue with results. Hold each rep for a second to get the real burn! Keep your form as accurate as possible to make a ‘V’ with your body. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you feel your lower abs and obliques burning! Enjoy!

Wood Chopper

The wood chopper is perfect to do near the end of a workout for a good stretch while also hitting your entire core. Just remember to evenly move through the movement — don’t swing your weight around.


If you don’t thank us after doing this move, you’re doing it wrong. There may be nothing overly heroic about this exercise other than its name, but it stretches out your abs and activates all the muscles you’ve got so you stay loose and enjoy the benefits.

According to Pankau this move is “great to end a core workout with since it stretches all muscles involved around the core simultaneously.”