You only need these five bodyweight exercises to build resilient core strength

They’ll improve the rest of your workouts too

a man performing the bird dog core exercise
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Working your ab muscles and obliques may help sculpt your mid-section, but by targeting your core you’ll get plenty of other benefits, such as improved posture, reduced back pain, and better support carrying out everyday activities. So, instead of doing your regular sit-ups and crunches routine, park them to one side and give this 15-minute workout a go instead – all you need is a mat and yourself.

A strong core isn't just beneficial for every day life, it can also improve your performance on the gym floor, especially when it comes to lifting heavy weights. Almost every exercise uses core strength, but big compound lifts particularly require it. Whether you squat, deadlift, or even bench press, a strong core enables trunk stability and helps to transfer more power through the body, resulting in a stronger lift. It'll also better protect you from injury too, especially the lower back, so if your lifts are looking a little weak, your core may just require some extra attention.

This workout comes from fitness trainer Elise Young and, as we’ve mentioned, you just need your body weight. That being said, if you do find it too easy (or you just want to challenge yourself), you can grab two food tins or drinks cans, like Elise is using in the video above). Two small weights, like dumbbells, could also work. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds per side. Once you’ve completed one round, rest for 60-90 seconds and then repeat two more times. Here’s your workout: 

  • High plank
  • Deadbugs
  • Bird dog crunches
  • Side plank with a reach
  • Bear taps

If you need some more core workouts then why not give this three-move Pilates workout a go? Pilates is incredibly effective for the core and this workout is suitable for beginners. Alternatively, if you want to step away from floor-based core workouts for a second, then try this three-move standing workout instead. It does require a pair of dumbbells, but if you don’t have any, just grab two cans of beans instead. 

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.