There is one thing we know for sure as we continue to navigate social distancing during this global pandemic: Training has NOT been cancelled!
However, in times of chaos and acute stress, we may be more likely to retreat from behaviors that maintain or increase our athleticism, stamina, and tenacity. We finish that tub of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream and easily decide that the umpteenth happy hour cocktail — not quite at 5 p.m. — in the name of #clubquarantine is a GREAT idea. Giving yourself some wiggle room from your normal routine during stressful times is definitely reasonable and advisable, but if not exercised with moderation, it can leave you wondering why your midsection, energy, and mind aren’t quite firing on all cylinders.
Related: 8 Great Core Strengthening Exercises
Flatten Your Midsection at Home
It is generally understood, according to HEALTHbeat at Harvard Medical School, that to lose unwanted body fat, eating at a caloric deficit is a solid starting point. There are certainly a lot of different factors that affect one’s ability to lose body fat, especially in the midsection, but the safest approach is to be at a calorie deficit between 500 and 1,000 calories less than the number of daily calories your body needs to maintain your current weight. Spot reduction in any particular area of the body cannot be guaranteed, but adjusting your nutrition is certainly a good first step. For many people, making the shift to this caloric deficit range will result in the loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week, but will vary depending on a person’s level of physical activity.
And speaking of physical activity, exercise is a wonderful complement to preventing those unwanted midsection pounds that can lead to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes, among other things. According to HEALTHbeat at Harvard Medical School, abdominal body fat, also known as visceral body fat, is especially worrisome, as it is the fat surrounding the organs. With many of my clients, we track visceral fat levels regularly through the InBody body composition test, and then I customize the appropriate training program for each of those clients based on those results. The good news is that combining good nutrition habits with exercise, forming an overall lifestyle change, is the ultimate way to combat belly fat.
Enter the 10-Minute Core Conditioning Workout
All you need is a jump rope and a flat surface. Combining the jump rope with four of my favorite core exercises, in a continuous circuit, will give you a great full-body workout.
According to the Mayo Clinic, jumping rope is great for general conditioning, as it helps you develop both upper- and lower-body muscular endurance. It can also speed up your fat-burning metabolism and reduce body fat.
Jump rope, in conjunction with core exercises to strengthen your core, will have you back in Spartan shape in no time. This 10-minute workout mixes in alternating V-Ups and Russian twists to target the obliques, reverse crunches to fire up the low abs and muscles in charge of stabilizing the spine and core, and modified V-Ups to target the core musculature and hip flexors. All of these core exercises will help keep the heart pumping in between jump rope intervals.
This is a perfect workout if you are time crunched, are trying to get work done, are getting the kids ready for home school, or just value efficient workouts.
Do this 10-minute workout a couple of times per week to keep your core strong.
- 1 Minute Jump Rope (or boxer bounces if no rope) *
- 30 Seconds Alternating V-Ups
- 30 Seconds Russian Twists
- 1 Minute Jump Rope
- 30 Seconds Modified Seated V-Ups
- 30 Seconds Reverse Crunches
- 30 Seconds to 1 Minute Rest and Recovery
*Aim for 100 jumps in one minute.
Repeat 1X and you’re done!