8 Hardcore Core Workouts Every Level Will Love

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It is a truth universally acknowledged that abs day is a dreaded day. The isolations, crunches, planks and Russian twists are moves we love to hate, the ones that make our bellies hurt when we laugh the next day. But, in the end, it's all so worth it for that tight core feeling. Yes, even the laugh pains.
Aside from the fact that strong abdominal muscles look really, really great, working out the mid-section of your body also reaps a whole bunch of health benefits. Not only will bending, twisting and lifting start to feel easier, but your posture and balance will also improve tremendously. While it's important to exercise every part of our body to see a real difference all over, taking some time to work on your abdominals once or twice a week is important for any exercise routine. Get a confidence boost in as little as 10 minutes with eight hurts-so-good at-home workouts.

1. Belly Dance Fitness

Next to the word "abdominals" in the dictionary should be a picture of Shakira shaking her famous hips. Take a page from her book and get an introduction to the abs-busting world of belly dancing with Leilah Isaac.

2. Hard Core Pilates Workout
The "powerhouse," otherwise known as your abs, pelvis and lower back, is the focus of every move in Pilates, making it the perfect, low-impact exercise for anyone looking to target those six-pack muscles. Plus, you can enjoy the beautiful beach background with Cassey Ho while you work.

3. Quick Core Circuit Workout
Try these five, do-anywhere core moves in this quick and efficient four-minute workout. When all is said and done, you'll be feeling it in your upper abs, middle and oblique muscles. Run through the workout as many times as you like to engage your core and keep your middle strong.

4. Seated Abs Workout

Have trouble getting down and back up again off the floor for a core workout? You're not alone. Follow along as Coach Nicole guides you through this core workout done entirely from a chair. You'll learn to improve your posture and increase your flexibility and spinal mobility.  

5. Work the Core, Feel the Burn
While the yoga mat is probably the most used piece of equipment when it comes to abs, the stability ball is a strong contender for most useful piece of core equipment. The rounded surface area gives you an extended range of motion, allowing you to hit those oblique and lower back muscles. You'll feel core muscles you never knew you had in this quick, eight-minute workout. 

6. Beginner Yoga: Core Strength
Tara Stiles, one of Hollywood's most sought-after trainers, comes straight into your living room with this nine-minute yoga series. You might be surprised at how a few simple moves can really force your core to work. 

7. BeFIT Belly Blasters
You're going to feel muscles you didn't even know were hiding in your mid-section in this intense core workout. Nicola Harrington designed this routine to help you become more stable and powerful, and to help you with your everyday movements.  

8. Crunchless Core Workout
Up for a challenge? POPSUGAR Fitness trainers use tiny movements to make a huge impact on every muscle in those abdominals—without a crunch in site! It might not look like much, but you're going to feel the burn every second of this 10-minute workout. 

Do you have a favorite abs workout or core move? Share it in the comments!