Our Favorite 20-Minute Rainy Day Core Workout


Have you ever had a rainy day ruin your workout? Maybe you were planning on a trail run or outdoor yoga when the downpour started. Or maybe you planned to hit the treadmill or dumbbell rack at the gym, but the weather outside is just too frightful to leave the house, even for an indoor workout. While dreary weather can make us want to shut out the outside world and curl up with things like a cozy blanket and some hot chocolate, that doesn’t mean it has to prevent us from getting a workout in. You can always find ways to get in a good workout and add movement to your day, whether that’s a yoga practice (hitting the yoga mat is great for your mood) or an equipment-free Tabata workout.

There’s no need to hit the gym for an hour – We’re sharing a 20-minute rainy day workout that will improve your core strength, tone your midsection, strengthen your balance and even give you a bit of a cardio workout, so there are no excuses! You can do all these moves without any equipment – you don’t even need to wear shoes – in your living room or in the gym. A bonus to performing this workout in the gym is that you can ask a trainer or coach if you have questions – but, in that case, you will need to wear shoes! You can also check out our app for exercise demos. Feel free to grab a small dumbbell to add intensity and burn extra calories and fat on the crunches, but you don’t need one. This workout will help you stay in shape and stay out of the rain – let’s check it out!

Rainy Day Core Workout

This home workout is similar to a Tabata workout, but instead of repeating the entire round, you perform circuits with a few exercises in each. We included information on all the exercises so you can perform them with proper form. Complete each set of exercises before moving on to the next. This workout should take you around 20 minutes, but if you’re looking for a 30-minute workout, you can repeat your favorite rounds. If you like this workout, try to incorporate it into your workout plan on a regular basis for a few months, or add it to a strength training circuit. It works your core front to back, and we think you’ll love the results. Get on your feet, grab a place on the floor, and let’s work those abs!

Warm Up

The goal of this warm up is to get your heart rate up and your body ready to sweat! Don’t worry if you see an exercise you don’t like – it’s super flexible. If you’re looking to add more cardio power, grab a jump rope and jump rope for one minute, in replacement of the jumping jacks. If you’re in your house, you can also run in place or run up and down the stairs – stairs make for awesome, equipment-free cardio, and they’ll have you out of breath in no time! Don’t skip the squats or wall sit though – those help warm up your lower body, glutes, hips, rectus abdominis, and lower back in this ab workout. If squats don’t work for you, you can replace them with lunges on the ground – we recommend five lunges on each side to warm up your hips. It’s the only part of the workout where you won’t be working hard on the floor, so savor it!

  • 10 Squats
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 30-Seconds Wall Sit
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Squats

Jammin’ Plank

What’s a jammin’ plank, you ask? Just a regular plank to your favorite jammin’ tunes! Planks are a great exercise, and they require serious core strength, because your entire torso – from lower abs to obliques to lower back – is working hard to keep you stable. Your starting position can be in the forearm plank position or high plank position, whichever you prefer, and alternate to a side plank if you need a break, we recommend 30 seconds on your left side followed by 30 seconds on your right side. To get set up for this exercise, place your mat on the floor. Center your body on the mat, and balance on your toes and palms, or forearms.

  • Pick your favorite song and perform a plank throughout its entire play-time. Keep your head in a straight line – don’t look up or down.
  • Hold a plank for 10 seconds, pause to rest for 1, and repeat! If you feel your form slipping, come down to your knees.

Lift It

This floor circuit will help you alternate between your upper body abs and lower abs. Take a moment to give yourself 30 seconds of rest between rounds. For alternating supine leg lifts, make sure you’re alternating between your left leg and right leg. For the starting position, lie on your back, facing the ceiling. Keep your legs in a straight line, and make sure you’re keeping your hips and lower back on the floor. Drop one leg, then switch to the opposite side. Your goal is to make a 90-degree angle with your leg and torso. If you can, bring your leg down so that your foot hovers just inches above the ground, then bring it back up. Make sure you use control, so that the movement is working your muscles, and not just swinging your legs. You should aim to keep your heels off the ground, but you can keep the resting leg’s heel on the ground if needed.

If you’d like, you can level up with toe touches, and lift your right arm so that your right hand touches your left foot. Then, release your left leg and right hand, and repeat with your right leg and left arm. If you can’t touch your toes, aim for your ankles. You should aim to have your shoulder blades off the floor. It’s OK to just lift your legs, too – this is still a powerful move for a strong core and stability!

HardCORE

Get ready to seriously work those abdominal muscles with the core exercises in this circuit! We included video information and descriptions to help explain some of the moves. Your starting position will be on the ground on your mat for both of these. For the knee-to-elbow crunches, your starting position is lying on the ground, facing the ceiling, with your feet up and knees at a 90-degree angle. The hardest part of this exercise is not letting your left and right foot sink, so focus on your ankles. Your goal is to get your shoulders off the ground, and crunch your midsection all the way up until your right elbow touches your right knee, and your left elbow touches your left knee. If you’re not quite at that fitness level, that’s OK! Just get as close as you can – a few inches make a big difference. Take a second to pause at the top with your shoulder blades off the floor – that pause will really work your abs.

You’re probably familiar with bicycle crunches, which also involve getting your knees and elbows to touch. But for bicycle crunches (fun fact: they’re also called the air bike),you’re working opposite sides of your body. For bicycle crunches, lie on the floor with your chest toward the ceiling and bring your right elbow to your right knee. Then, release your right elbow and knee, and bring your left elbow and left knee together. Repeat this movement for 20 reps on each side. Make sure you’re using your core muscles to protect your head and neck.

Crunch position twists are known by many people as Russian twists. For this exercise, your starting position is seated on the ground, facing the front of your mat with your feet flat on the floor. Then, use your core to twist your torso from the left to the opposite side, and back again. Make sure you’re using your abdominal muscles, especially your obliques, to twist, and not your shoulders, chest, hips or torso. Using control can help make sure you’re working your abs and not your shoulders. Proper form and good posture are incredibly important in this exercise, because it protects your neck and spine and helps you build muscle. You can level up with a dumbbell to make this simple exercise more challenging!

Jammin’ Plank

Does this exercise look familiar? We hope you liked it last time! It’s a great way to end all the previous rounds of an effective workout and really feel the burn in your abs. Plus, you get to listen to music! Let’s get in the plank position and finish strong. If the forearm plank position is a problem for you, feel free to finish on your palms in high plank. And if you really want to burn out your abs, level up with some plank push-ups! 

  • Pick your favorite song and perform a plank throughout its entire play-time.
  • Hold a plank for 10 seconds, resting for one second, and repeat! Keep your head in a straight line – don’t look up or down.
  • Need some air? If you get tired and can’t maintain proper form – a few signs of this are letting your hips sink, or pushing your glutes up so that your body is no longer in a straight line – come down to plank position on your knees. This is the last round, so no excuses – make sure you finish it however you can! As weeks go on, you’ll only get stronger, improve your core stability and be able to hold your plank longer. 

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