4 Gym-Free Ab Workouts You Can Do In 5 Minutes!

Add any of these four core circuits into your run training for power, stability, and endurance.


By Runner's World Editors and Jeremy Shore |

Just add one to your next run.

To run faster, longer, and stronger, you need much more than strong legs; you need a bulletproof core as well. As you strengthen the muscles in your abdominals, lower back, and glutes, you’ll develop more power, stability, and endurance. In fact, your abs will provide the support you need to sprint faster, power up hills, and stay tall kilometre after kilometre

While a strong core is important, we’ll be the first to admit that standard planks and situps can get real boring real fast. So we pulled together four different core workouts so you can switch things up and keep it interesting.

These core circuits are sampled from RUN 360, the total training system for runners, and created by Jeremy Shore, a certified strength and conditioning specialist who has spent more than 20 years helping people enhance their running and athletic performance.

How to use this list:
First, see the moves you need to master below. Then scroll to the bottom for four different core workouts to try depending on your goal: power, strength, stability, or balance. You’ll see one exercises listed as the “hub exercise”-this is the main move that you’ll repeat after every two supporting exercises.

By repeating the hub exercise, you’ll focus your efforts on building power, strength, stability or balance while the non-hub exercises help train additional muscles and give you an added challenge.

How to do each workout: See the exercises and circuits below. Repeat each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest between moves, for a 5-minute circuit. You can add one circuit to the end of your run as a finisher or use it as a part of your cross-training workouts.

X-Body Mountain Climber

Start in a high plank position with arms straight, wrists over shoulders, body forming a straight line from your head to ankles. Engage your core and draw left knee as far as you can toward right elbow. Bring left foot back to starting position. Then draw right knee as far as you can toward left elbow. Continue alternating between legs as fast as possible.

Squat Thrust

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your side. Send hips back as you lower your body into a deep squat with hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward so that you land in a high plank position. Quickly bring your legs back to squat position and stand back up to starting position. Repeat.

Plank March

Start in high plank position, with arms straight, wrists over shoulders, body forming a straight line from your head to your ankles. Bend right elbow to lower right forearm to the floor. Lower left forearm to the floor. Extend the right arm, then the left arm back to starting position. Continue to repeat, alternating which arm you start with each time.

Windshield Wiper

Lie face up on the mat with arms straight out from your sides so body forms a “T”and legs straight up toward ceiling. Keep your abs braced and lower your legs to the right as far as you can without lifting your shoulders off the floor. Swing legs to the left and lower as far as possible without lifting shoulders. Continue alternating from side to side.

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