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An Efficient 5-Minute Core Workout You Can Do Just About Anywhere

Janeil Mason, M.S.
Fitness Instructor
By Janeil Mason, M.S.
Fitness Instructor
Janeil Mason is an NYC based personal trainer and creator of her signature dance cardio class Fit and Lit.
Image by Andreas von Scheele
November 29, 2021

Welcome to mbg moves! We've been working out at home more than ever lately—and we know our readers are, too. To help keep your fitness routine feeling fresh, we're releasing a new at-home workout every Monday to start your week off strong. Each month will feature routines from a different incredible trainer we adore. Now, let's get moving with our spotlight trainer: Janeil Mason.

Core workouts are always a great choice—that's because having a strong center will help support your body during all of your other workouts, and in everyday life.

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And a little bit goes a long way! Which is great news, especially during our busiest times (I'm looking at you, holiday season). That's why I put together this super-quick, 5-minute core exercise routine that you can do literally anywhere.

It's perfect for tacking onto any of your other go-to workout routines—low-impact cardio, arms, running, and more. Otherwise, this speedy workout is a fantastic option when you only have a few minutes to spare for some movement. For a longer core workout, feel free to loop this four-move series once or twice more as a circuit. Whatever you choose, know that I'm giving you the biggest virtual high-five for moving your body today!

Your 4-week challenge: As the holiday season is upon us, it can be challenging to keep up with a consistent movement regimen. This month, I'm sharing four different routines you can do from home or while traveling—each one is quick, efficient, and also fun. I encourage you to make these routines part of your weekly workout schedule as often as you can, but aim for at least two to three times a week.

Workout Summary

  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Equipment: Yoga mat
  • Instructions: Move from one exercise to the next, as instructed. Repeat the routine one more time all the way through if you'd like a longer workout.

Tabletop Leg Press

Image by mbg creative
  1. Start by lying down on your mat. Bring your legs up into a tabletop position.
  2. Keep your head resting on the ground, and press your hands into your thighs.
  3. Press your back flat against the mat, and engage your core.
  4. Continue pressing your hands to your legs for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then continue to the next move.

Dead Bug

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  1. Start by lying on your mat. Bring your legs up into a tabletop position.
  2. Keep your head resting on the ground, and press your hands into your thighs.
  3. Extend your left arm overhead, and stretch your left leg out straight, until they're both hovering a few inches off the ground (or as far as you can go without arching your back).
  4. Return your arm and leg to start. Continue for 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side. Rest for 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

Side Plank Pull

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  1. Come into a side plank on your right side. Press your right elbow and forearm into the mat, stacking your right shoulder over your elbow.
  2. Stretch your left arm overhead, then engage your back as you bend your elbow and pull your arm to the side of your body. Return to start.
  3. Hold your plank and continue your pull for 30 seconds. Then repeat on the opposite side. Rest for 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

Elbows-To-Knees Bicycle

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  1. Lie on your back, and bring your knees to your chest. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. Glue your lower back into the mat.
  2. Bend your arms, and bring one hand over your forehead, fingertips facing up. Stack your opposite palm over the other hand.
  3. Bring your right knee toward your chest as you extend your left leg out long. Engage your core and bring your elbows toward your knee, maintaining the same hand position.
  4. Switch your legs and repeat on the opposite side.
  5. Continue alternating for 60 seconds.
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Janeil Mason, M.S.
Janeil Mason, M.S.
Fitness Instructor

Janeil Mason is an NYC based personal trainer and creator of her signature dance cardio class Fit and Lit! She is known for her fun, high energy fitness experiences and her mantra, “tell yourself you can, and you will!” Her signature class format Fit and Lit combines her favorite elements of fitness: dancing, HIIT and mindfulness practices. Throughout her teaching she encourages an intentional commitment to taking care of the mind, body and spirit by engaging in fitness, plant based nutrition and mindfulness practices.