5 Minute Ab Workout - Full Core

I love this workout design so much... I had to do it again.

And I will keep doing it. 😉.

The workout style is a type of race workout... but with a twist.

If you're curious, the 5 minute kettlebell workout - Thinning - was the same style of design. But even then... it's still different.

If you're ready to burn your abs out and get that 6 pack feeling...

Let's get in this workout already!

5 Minute Ab Workout - Full Core Breakdown

I want to be really clear so I'm going to explain how this workout works... twice.

Here's the exercise list:

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    Back raises with a 10 pound med ball

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    Toes to bar (dead hang... no blatant kipping)

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    Plank openers with 10 pound dumbbell

You will ALWAYS do the back raises.

For the toes to bar and the plank openers... they'll eventually zero out and you'll remove them from circuit. This will hopefully be very clear... keep reading...

As you know... I'll breakdown the exercises below with pictures... but here's the rep schedule:

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    12 Back raises with 10 pound med ball

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    2 - 4 - 6 - 8 - 10 Toes to bar - dead hang

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    4 - 6 - 8 plank openers with 10 pound weight - alternating each round

Let's think of this as columns:

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    Round 1: 12 (back raises) - 2 (toes to bar) - 4 (plank openers)

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    Round 2: 12 - 4 - 6

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    Round 3: 12 - 6 - 8

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    Round 4: 12 - 8

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    Round 5: 12 - 10

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    Round 6: 12


Or work your way back up if you still have time on the clock.


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    12 reps is the back raises. You will always do these.

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    The middle number is the toes to bar.

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    The last (third) number is the plank openers.

After round three (the hardest round) the plank openers fall out of the circuit

After found 5 the toes to bar fall out of the circuit.

If you have time... you can turn around and go in reverse.

If you have any questions, [ask in the YouTube comments](/YouTube-link) for this workout. I will answer you!

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5 Minute Ab Workout - Full Core Exercise Breakdown

Back Raises

Kindal at the bottom of the back raises but notice how she is working hard to keep her legs straight and engaged.
Kindal at the top of back raises. Her legs go a little high but her body is very straight which helps to contract her back.

Okay... you may have never done this exercise. It's a really good back exercise.

I can't remember where I learned it... but I've been doing it for a long time because it's really good for your back extensors.

If you've never done this exercise before... try it without the medicine ball first just to get the feeling of doing this without momentum or flinging your legs.

Step 1

You need a bench or a box. It also has to be tall enough... I would say about 3 feet tall minimum.

Ideally you want your legs to fall down all the way down. I know this is not possible for most... including me.

Just do your best.

You will lay on your stomach with the edge of hips just on the edge of box or bench. See the images.

Keep your legs straight and let them go down to the ground.

Hold onto the bench of box so you don't rock. You will need the support.

Step 2

Keep your upper body still and lift your straight legs off the ground so they are parallel to the ground.

Do NOT... or try NOT... to lift your legs above parallel. The goal is not to arch your back... just get to parallel.

Step 3

Lower your legs with control back to the ground and keep repeating.

Make sure you eliminate explosive momentum. You are not flinging your legs... you're purposefully raising and lowering your legs.

Back Raises Modification - Superwomans

Kindal at the bottom of the superwomans where she is relaxed before she engaged her back.
Kindal is showing the top of the superwomans but notice that she is arching her back and not really using her back to lift her legs. This is the difference.

If you don't have a box or anything to do back raises... go with superwomans.

This is not quite the same exercise. Superwomans are more of a back extension exercise... while back raises are a back contraction exercise.

But the point is to hit your back muscles.

Step 1

Lay on the ground on your stomach.

Lift your arms off the ground and your legs... keeping your legs close to straight.

Flex your back extensors and come back down to the ground.

Despite what you hear... it's okay to arch your back. It's meant to go into extension.

It's only a problem when you have muscle issues in your back or disc issues in your spine from having poor mobility and years of sitting and poor posture.

But that's a topic for another post!

Toes To Bar

Kindal at the bottom of toes to bar where she is dead hanging but keeping her shoulder just enough engaged to help keep rocking to a minimum.
Kindal at the top of the toes to bar. Notice how she's leaning slightly back with engaged shoulders to give her the solid body to get her legs to the bar.

If you're going to do the workout as written... you need a pull up bar.

If you don't have a pull up bar... I got you. There is a modification directly below this exercise explanation.

Step 1

Hang from your pull up bar. Engage your shoulders a little so you're not dead (limp) hanging... rather your shoulders are slightly lifting your body.

When you engage your shoulder joint... you'll find your body moves upward slightly and tilts backward.

Step 2

Without swinging your legs to get momentum... lift your legs at high as you can.

If you can get your toes to the bar... great.

If you can't get your toes to the bar... get them as high as you can.

What I want you focusing on is at the top of your "toes to bar" you need to lift your hips a little bit more. This is the extra crunch you want to get out the move... otherwise it's mainly a hip flexor exercise.

The hip crunch is the big ab crunch.

Step 3

Lower your legs with as much control as you can. This it the eccentric part of the exercise and if you've read my why exercise negatives are the best ... you know this is the most important part of any rep.

As you get fatigued your legs will get harder to control. Do your best.

As you get more fatigued... try not to rock or swing into your next rep.

"Dead hang" toes to bar are a very tough exercise. Show yourself some grace as you learn to master these.

And try your best to not rock... you'll naturally swing a little bit into the next rep.

The act of trying is going to make a huge difference.

Toes To Bar Modification - Kettlebell Hollow Leg Raises

Kindal at the bottom of the hollow leg raises. A solid hollow position and pressing the weight high over her chest. Core engaged.
Kindal at the top of the hollow leg raises. Her core is crunched hard. Hips are off the ground and shoulders are off the ground pushing the weight up to the sky.

We did this exercise in the 5 minute kettlebell workout, Get to 90 .. it's a great modification since the focus of this workout is your core.

Read that post for a more in-depth breakdown. I'm going to keep this one a little shorter.

Step 1

Lay on your back in a hollow hold position.

Your shoulders are off the ground and your legs are straight with your feet about 12 inches off the ground. Feel like you're hips are being pulled off the ground too. This adds that extra ab crunch.

Press a kettlebell or dumbbell over your chest with both hands. This forces your shoulders and chest to engage... it adds a little spice!

Step 2

Keep pressing the weight into the sky as high as you can... pushing through your shoulders.

Lift your - straight - legs up so they are just a little past perpendicular and at the top lift your hips off the ground an inch or two.

The hip lift is going to give you that little extra ab crunch which want to focus on.

Step 3

Lower your legs with control and do not use any momentum to fling them down.

If you're going to workout with me in the video... lift and lower your legs at the same rhythm as I do with my toes to bar.

Keep your core really tight so you can control the movement... and not let momentum get into the exercise.

You'll know you're losing core control when you're entire body starts to rock on the ground like a rocking chair.

Plank Openers

Kindal in the top of a pushup plank. One of her hands is on the dumbbell and in this case her feet a slightly apart.
Kindal at the top of plank openers. Ideally she wants her feet stacked. But her body is nice and straight and she's reaching the weight high to the sky.

These are so brutal. You'll feel your core get hit hard but you'll also feel your shoulders get hit hard.

Plus plank openers are great for shoulder mobility and stability.

Step 1

Get in a top of pushup plank.

One of your hands is going to be holding a dumbbell... on the handle and on the ground.

Keep your feet close together... touching.

Step 2

Rotate into a side plank. The hand without the dumbbell is your support hand.

As you rotate... lift the dumbbell up and extend it all the up to the sky when you're in the side plank.

Try to stack your feet. This is the hard version.

If you need the balance... stagger your feet so you have a wider base to work with.

Step 3

Pause for a half second at the top.

Come back down with control. So you're back in the top of a pushup plank.

Then just repeat. It's fast but not crazy fast where you lose control.

If this is your first time doing this exercise... ditch the weight for this workout. Learn the exercise first and get the hang of how things work.

Then you can add in a dumbbell later.

form tip

The reason I say to use a 10 pound dumbbell is because you can get your entire hand around the hand while it's resting on the ground.

A 5 pound dumbbell is too small to wrap your whole hand around the handle and have the dumbbell on the ground.

Make sure you build up your stability strength using only bodyweight first.

Then play around with the exercise using a 10 pound dumbbell. Practice... it will really help when you do the exercise in a real workout where performance matters.

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Ready To Get Stronger Abs By Working Out With Me!?

I hope you enjoy Full Core!

It's a great workout and it really does hit your entire core... back... side... and front.

If you have any questions... ask in the [comments of the YouTube video](/youtube-video). This way I can answer you personally.

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If you have questions about the workout Full Core... ask in the [comments of the video](/youtube).

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