Hard Core Abs in 12 Minutes

This is a very simple core routine that is a favorite with my membership at KBNY, and it only takes 12 minutes. The routine is pretty simple, but buyer beware, simple doesn't mean easy.

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 Hard Core in 12 is a series of 6 relatively simple moves, done at 30 seconds each, at a maximum of 4 rounds (12 minutes). None of the movements are complicated, but when performed non-stop for 12 minutes, things can get quite intense. Be sure you get physician's clearance. My recommendation is to start off with one or two rounds, and work up to three, then four. Using a timer that will beep at specific intervals, such as a Gym Boss makes transitions easier.

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1. Vertical Leg Raise (VLR) 30 Seconds
From the starting position (illustration), alternate legs up and done in sort of vertical scissor. Be sure to keep you lower back flat on the floor and knees straight. Breathe throughout the 30 seconds, never holding your breath. You can keep you neck on the floor, or slightly raised (support if necessary).

2. Bike Kick (BK) 30 Seconds
With fingers interlaced gently behind the head, bring right elbow to left knee, and then left elbow to right knee. As with the VLR (above), lower back must remain flat on the floor. Fully extend your leg to achieve maximum intensity. Alternate breathing with each rep. Never hold your breath or tug on your head.

3. Bridge (BR) 30 Seconds
Roll over and lie flat on your back. Bring your heels near your buttocks. Slowly lift your hips off the floor, with your knees about width apart. Hold for 30 seconds and breathe. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and make sure the glutes and hamstrings are held firm. You should a stretch, or pull, in the front of the hips.

4. Push Up (PU) 30 Seconds
Keep the body perfectly straight with elbows locked and close to the body. Lower you body completely to the floor as you inhale. Exhale and push the floor away and lockout your elbows (see illustration) It's important to keep the core tight and body straight through out the exercise. Repeat for 30 seconds.

5. Plank (PL) 30 Seconds
Assume a push up position, but on your elbows. The body should be held perfectly straight (as in push up above). Hold for 30 seconds while you continue to breathe. Core remains tight.

6. Bridge (BR) 30 Seconds
see instructions / illustration above

Repeat entire route 1 to 4 times for a total of 12 minutes. For more Kettlebell, Full Body, and Core Routines, visit our website or Facebook page.