15 Minute Core Workout For Beginners (HIIT, No Equipment)

This 15 minute core workout for beginners (no equipment) will target every muscle in your torso and will build your abs in highly efficient way.


15 Minute Core Workout For Beginners (HIIT, No Equipment)

15 Minute Core Workout At Home

The main purpose of this workout is to help you as a beginner to activate your core and abs in dynamic and more untraditional style.

In this core session, there are 6 bodyweight exercises included. The interval timer frame used is 30/20 seconds of work rest and 3 total rounds should be performed. No big rests are allowed between rounds in order the intensity to remain high throughout the whole 15 minutes duration. 

Here is the beginner core exercise list: 

1. Alternating stationary monkey walk. 

2. Cross body knee tap to jump out combo. 

3. Cross body step to knee tap. 

4. Plank ankle taps. 

5. Plank twist to knee elbow tap. 

6. Sprinter sit up. 

6 Beginner Core Exercises Combined In a HIIT Workout

6 Beginner Core Exercises Combined In a HIIT Workout

What makes this 15 minute beginner core workout unique? The exercise selection and sequence. There is a certain reason of why such movements are chosen to be part of this session.

You will notice that there are multiple dynamic core exercises that will not just strengthen your core and ab muscles but will help you develop your balance and movement abilities. 

In addition, these moves will increase your cardio, conditioning and strength endurance. Due to this higher intensity, you will also burn additional calories which is always a benefit if your goal is to lose weight and belly fat as well. 

Now let's review each of these 6 core exercises in detail. You can review each movement in a separated video below plus, a short description of the benefits that it will provide. 

Exercise 1 - Alternating Stationary Monkey Walk

The alternating static monkey walk is a highly intense exercises with focus on the core, shoulders and upper body muscles. This move is a classical core HIIT exercise that will elevate your heart rate still from the very first repetitions. It's way harder than it looks and it's always a good addition to an effective HIIT and core sessions. 

Exercise 2 - Cross Body Knee Tap to Jump Out

The cross body knee tap to jump out combo is a bodyweight exercise that will improve core strength and specifically your balance. The cross knee tap will target the obliques (the side muscles of your core) and the jump out will engage the core as this small jump will require your torso to perform most of the work in order your legs to move and to perform the necessary movement. The dynamic aspect in the whole sequence will also target your cardiovascular system. 

Exercise 3 - Cross Body Step to Knee Tap

This core exercise has a break dance aspect in it. I have seen it from a break dance coach and it's really great for balance, coordination, cardio, conditioning and educating your core to work in a more inconvenient way. In addition, the shoulders and upper back will be engaged as frequently, you will have to maintain the balance of the whole body while supporting on a single arm. 

Exercise 4 - Plank Twist to Knee Elbow Tap

The plank twist with knee to elbow raises is another fantastic core exercise that will strengthen the whole mid-section while also, focusing on the obliques. From all of these 6 movements included in today's workout, this one has the higher strength aspect. Your upper body will have to remain in an isometric position (stationary plank) while you will twist your hips from side to side and while alternating these with 2 knee to elbow raises. 

Exercise 5 - Plank Ankle Taps

This plank variation is simple, straight-forward and highly efficient. Begin in a stationary low plank and alternate tapping your arm with the opposite ankle. As you have noticed, in the previous 2 planks, we had a knee/leg movement outside the body in order to target the obliques. With this exercise, instead moving the leg outwards, you will tap your ankles right under your body. This leg movement will result in higher rectus abdominis (abs) recruitment while still, the elbow support position will work on multiple inner core muscles. 

Exercise 6 - The Sprinter Sit Up

This 15 minute core workout for beginners ends up with the sprinter sit up variation that is dynamic and will target the upper, lower abs and obliques as well. Begin in a lying position, perform a regular sit up and when you're up, touch the elbow to the opposite leg's knee (raise the leg at the same time while going upwards with the sit up). This rotation + leg raise will create an extra tension that is highly recommended for building muscle.

How To Customize This Beginner Core Workout?

How To Customize This 15 Minute Beginner Core Workout

Just in case you are completely out of shape, and this 15 minute core workout for beginners might be too intense for you, I have prepared 2 separated scenarios that you can implement right away in order to still get an effective core routine: 

1. Decrease the working rounds - instead to perform 3 total rounds as it's recommended from the core workout video, perform 2 total rounds. This way, you will decrease the workout duration to 10 minutes instead of 15 and you will manage to endure the session.  

2. Perform each move separately - since we already have reviewed each core exercises included in this workout separately, as a complete beginner, sometimes performing multiple exercises one after each other might be a bit more frustrating. With that in mind, here is how to proceed: 

  • Perform each of these 6 core exercises separately. Set an interval timer app on your phone and set it to 30/20 or 30/30 seconds of work/rest. 
  • Do 4-6 sets for each move by following the interval timer recommended above. 
  • Once finishing with the exercise, rest for 2-3 minutes in order to recover and move on to the next one.

This approach will allow you first, to do more repetitions (workout volume) without burning out too early in the session and second, you will manage to maintain a proper technique.

Normally, this 15 minute core workout is not really hard and should be endured by any fitness beginner. However, it's great to have options in order to get a quality work done despite your training level or current shape. 

Can You Get a Good Core and Abs Workout In 15 Minutes?

Can you get a good core and abs workout in 15 minutes as a beginner

Can you build ab muscle in just 15 minutes? Absolytely. 15 minutes is sufficient time to target the whole core and ab muscles as well. The key point here is to actually work withing this time frame. In other words, 15 minutes will be sufficient to build core strength and ab muscle only if the intensity is high enough and if you engage the core muscles in the right way by creating good tension and by doing various of exercises in order to stres the muscles in different ways so you can adapt and progress. 

How Often To Do Core Workouts As a Beginner?

How often to do core workouts as a beginner

As a fitness beginner, the frequency of your core workouts will determine how strong your torso will be and with what phase you will build ab muscle. With that in mind, focus on performing 3-4 core and ab workouts weekly in order to have sufficient work done while allowing your body and muscles to recover for a few days as well. Combine dynamic core movements with more isometric and slow tempo exercises in order to create different muscle stimulus and to achieve the desired outcome. 

But should you do core exercises everyday as a beginner in order to progress faster?

It's not necessary. Since such approach migh be beneficial for 14, 21 or 28 days, it is not a sustainable way to increase the core strength over time and to slimmer your waist as well. Overtraining is not leading to any good. The core muscles are like any other in the human body and as such, it is required to apply an optimal balance between work and rest.

2 Complete Core Workouts For Beginners (No Equipment)

Since you are here, I can assume that you are a beginner who wants to work out their core and abs efficiently. With that purpose, I am sharing with you 2 additional core workout videos that can be replicated at the comfort of your home and are without the necessity of using any equipment at all. 

The more options you have to train, the better as this will create different stimulus on your core muscles, hence, you will progress faster. 

30 Minute Core Workout For Beginners

For this 30 minute core workout for beginners, there are 7 bodyweight core exercises included. The working interval timer is 30/20 seconds of work/rest.

6 total rounds should be done. 

Here is your beginner core exercise list: 

1. Short sit out to jump out. 

2. Tucked shoulder tap to ankle tap combo. 

3. Low bird dog plank. 

4. Plank push up to sit out. 

5. V sit hold to ankle tap. 

6. Hollow body hold to crab reach. 

7. Plank twists. 

12 Minute Calisthenics Core Workout For Beginners

This is a slightly shorter session, it is a 12 minute calisthenics core workout for beginners. There are 5 exercises included, you have to work for 30/20 seconds of work/rest protocol and a total of 3 rounds should be performed. 

Here is the calisthenics core exercise list: 

1. Shoulder taps to knee and ankle taps. 

2. Cross body step to knee tap. 

3. 3 Way mountain climbers. 

4. Short side crawl to shoulder tap. 

5. Leg and arm raise (bird dog) 2 level plank. 

Summing It Up

Training the core as a fitness beginner will result in improved limb stregth. Your arms and legs will get stronger and you will notice an improvement in your lifts (if you lift weights) and in any other resistance bodyweight exercise. The core is involved in literally any movement of the body and as such, it is considered as one of the mandatory human body parts that have to be targeted frequently and with high priority. 

The best way to work out your core is to combine dynamic HIIT core exercises and isometric, slower, more muscle build orienteted movements. When such combination is applied and frequently performed, it will lead to a great results not just with your core strength, ab muscle build and how you look in the mirror but your cardio, conditioning, balance and coordination will improve dramatically. 

Today we have reviewed in detail a 15 minute core workout for beginners that includes 6 bodyweight core exercises. Each movement was presented with a separated video and short description. Also, you have received 2 additional methods of how to customize this 15 minute core workout in order to decrease the intensity and yet, to endure the session. 2 bonus beginner core workouts were also shared with you in order to get extra variety with your core training. 

Do you have a favorite 15 minute core workout for beginners? 

Comment below! 

Thanks for being here. 

To your FIT-ter self, 


PS: here is another good 15 minute core workout for beginners

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