10-Minute Crunchless Core Workout

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About This Workout
This workout will help you strengthen (and stretch) your abdominals, obliques and lower back--without performing a single crunch or sit-up! Coach Nicole will take you through one short set of Pilates-style exercises (plus stretches) for a complete core challenge. If you're new to Pilates, we recommend that you watch our short Intro to Pilates video first.
  • Length: 10 minutes
  • Equipment: Mat (optional, for cushioning)
  • Type of Workout: Strength training (toning) & flexibility
  • Muscles Worked: Core (abs, obliques, lower back and hips)
  • Fitness Level: Beginning to advanced; since this workout has few transitions, it may also be suitable for individuals with limited mobility.
  • Impact: Low-impact
  • Safety Precautions: A mat will help cushion your body while lying on the floor. Shoes are optional during this Pilates workout. Always work at your own pace and level, using modifications whenever necessary.
  • Extra Tip: Only complete as many exercises as you can using good form, taking a break as needed. As you progress, try to finish the entire video.

Member Comments

  • Awesome! Love these moves. - 2/7/2016 3:10:35 PM
  • I'm really confused. The title says "No crunch workout" but the very first thing she does is a form of a crunch! ???? It doesn't go all the way to the floor, but it is still a crunch. Think it needs a new title. - 1/31/2016 5:39:20 PM
  • I'm older, out of shape, obese etc. I found this work out to be just right for me. Challenging enough that it was hard, but doable. I like Coach Nicole's style. Thanks. - 1/20/2016 8:56:48 PM
  • Wow! For us older ladies, that is quite challenging. I modified as much as I could (chair, bed, pillows under my knees). My goal will be just to get through all the 10 minutes and do as many reps as Coach Nicole does....again, WOW! :) - 1/19/2016 11:14:36 AM
  • Did most of this... cannot do the hip flexors (or whatever it is called when you bring your leg out to the side while in a hand/knee position...)

    - 1/1/2016 8:18:20 PM
  • This was a very challenging workout. I did have a very hard time doing it, although I did what I could. At one point, I was very frustrated and pulled out my ab roller. I did what I could of the crunchless core workout. - 12/23/2015 8:31:45 PM
  • Nice is it on Youtube as well or just on SparkPeople? - 12/2/2015 6:16:15 PM
  • Nice is it on Youtube as well or just on SparkPeople? - 12/2/2015 6:11:46 PM
  • Need to strengthen my abs! Felt the burn! - 11/13/2015 8:23:59 PM
  • If I am feeling burn throughbupper thighs am I doing something wrong, or is that normal? - 11/10/2015 6:41:22 AM
  • I usually do crunches and feel nothing, but felt my core engaging doing this workout. It was hard but I was glad to get through it and grateful for the stretches at the end which felt like a reward! - 11/4/2015 12:24:20 AM
  • I started out on the floor but it was just too hard on my lower back (aka spare tire) so I tried it on my bed believe it or not. The bed adds a good bit of instability but it was so much less painful and I could keep going. So I gave it my best. Will keep on trying. this might only be 10 minutes but it was definitely a challenge! - 10/28/2015 10:51:34 PM
  • omg! very hard for just beginning but I will keep working at it - 10/23/2015 12:22:05 PM
  • I just started, did my workout this morning. I will try later today or tomorrow. Looks like it will definitely challenge the core. - 10/23/2015 9:32:02 AM
  • Core-wise, I could do this routine. Where I have the problem is in my hip flexors and how they are stressed when moving while the body is in a V shape. I have small hip capsules and I found out quickly years ago that Pilates was very painful for me due to this issue.

    And, this routine, as with most, will have to be modified by those who are considerably overweight (especially if they are new to exercise). It is a combination of the body getting in the way of itself for movement as well as the extra weight posing a balancing and strength issue. For those of you who are not considerably overweight, try strapping on 50 to 100 pounds distributed all over your body, but concentrating mainly on your core, hips and thighs, and you will see what I mean. :) - 10/20/2015 8:40:50 AM