Help participants work their core with a miniroutine that approaches muscles from different angles while elevating heart rates. Mix 30-second cardio intervals with athletic, integrated core exercises that load the upper body and lower body simultaneously. Here’s how you do it: Teach continuous movement as you alternate between 30 seconds of “cardio-core” and 2 minutes of recovery-pace core work (which includes the transition time from one move to the next). Use dumbbells for added load in every plane of motion as you bend, stand, reach, rotate, catch and brace.
A Sample Menu
Following are some teaching suggestions with examples of both elements:
Cardio: Demonstrate the exercise, and cue students to do as many reps as they can safely do in 30 seconds. Encourage them to go breathless. All moves include dumbbells but can be done without them if necessary.
- forward jump with snatch
- lateral hop lunge with overhead arch
- standing broad jump with chest press
- lateral jump to vertical jump
- sumo jump-squat with snatch
- split-lunge hold while holding dumbbells overhead
- power skater with reach
- tuck jump with 180-degree hop
Recovery-pace core work: Self-select reps, and cycle through for 2 minutes:
- lateral walking plank with superman reach
- static crab with alternating elbow and knee pulls, then reverse plank
- plank variations (choose two): ski jumps, donkey kicks, frog jumps, jacks
- alternating forward lunges while passing dumbbell between legs
- side plank with three hip pulses, low front hover and alternating hip-taps
- halo with lateral lunge, forward lunge or reverse lunge
- squats with knee-lift oblique crunch, alternating crossover crunch or sumo prisoner oblique crunch
Put It Together
Below are two examples of how the concept works in action.
Jumping dumbbell snatch (cardio):
- Start with feet in narrow position, holding dumbbell with both hands (at thighs).
- Jump or step forward and catch dumbbell overhead in a snatch (brace core).
- Land in wide squat to absorb landing.
- Jump or step back to narrow feet.
- Return dumbbell to thigh, and repeat.
- Lateral walking plank with superman reach (recovery pace, 4 reps each; 2 minutes):
- Begin in standard plank position.
- Add superman: Extend opposite arm and leg (alternate).
- Add walking plank, moving to side.
- Repeat superman reach.
- Repeat walking plank, opposite direction.
For interval two, please see “Ditch the Crunches!” in the online IDEA Library or in the November–December 2016 print edition of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at 800-999-4332, ext. 7.