Home Workout #4: Core Circuit

Home Workout #4: Core Circuit

Quick Core Circuit:

Roll out of bed and do this 6-minute circuit once, twice or even thrice! I did it twice, and my abs were BURNING! It was awesome!

All you need is a stool!

home workout 4: core circuit

Pop Quiz

True or False? Ab exercises will give you a 6 pack.

Answer: FALSE!

A recent study1 investigated the effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat.  Their findings indicated that 6 weeks of abdominal exercises alone (with no other training) did not reduce abdominal fat (Note: both the ab exercising group and the control group had identical isocaloric diets)

Nevertheless, it is important that you strengthen your core musculature.  A strong core will support your spine, protecting your from back injuries and pain.  This is especially important for people who sit all day long on the job with slouched posture. I am an expert on this topic!  Not only am I a dentist (which means I adopt strenuous postures all day long to see inside people’s mouths), but I am also a physiotherapist (which means I know how to prevent low back pain through strengthening, stretching and proper workstation ergonomics).

The Plank is my favourite exercise for strong abdominal and back muscles. I love the plank because it targets all the muscles of the core (including the lower back). You will notice I included 3 themes & variations of the plank in today's workout video.

Take Home Message: Do not underestimate the plank!  Not only does it strengthen you core, but it also targets your shoulders, arms and glutes!  Remember, the longer you can hold the plank, the more resilient your lower back will be to injury, making it the ultimate prerequisite exercise for all weight lifting and sports.  And once you shed your layer of tummy fat, you abs will look magnificent thanks to all the planks you performed!

stool abs: plank

Equipment Required:

Always a Must!

Drink your BCAAs!

Stay hydrated with water.

  • I like to add BCAAs. Click here to read why.

Today's Video Workout:

Set your gymboss timer for: 50 seconds WORK, 10 seconds REST.

Do the workout with me! Just click on the video:

Today's Exercises:

Sit-Ups with Legs on Stool

  • Lie flat on your back with your feet resting on an exercise ball.
  • The closer your bottom is to the stool, the more difficult the exercise will be.
  • Keep your hands by your ears
  • Push the small of your back down in the floor and breathe out as you sit up.
  • Refrain from using momentum.
  • Slowly lower to the starting position

 Modification: perform crunches instead of full sit-ups.

Plank Up-Downs with feet on stool & alternating toe taps

  • Start in a plank position on your forearms, palms facing down with your feet on the stool. Lift your right leg off the stool and tap the floor on the right side of the stool with your toe. Replace this foot on the stool and then repeat with the left foot.
  • Bring your left hand in, placing it under your shoulder and pressing your body up, and then immediately bring your right hand in so that you end up in a full plank position with both arms straight. Then perform the alternating toe taps.
  • Quickly lower your left elbow down to the floor, and then your right, so you're back in your elbow plank, and repeat.
  • For the first round, lead with the left arm. For the second round, lead with the right arm.

Modification: stay in the plank position on your forearms and if you can, perform the alternating toe taps.

Double Crunch on Stool

  • Sit on the edge of the stool.
  • Extend back and place your hands on the sides of the stool near your bottom for stability.
  • Start with your legs extended, and then crunch your knees in towards your chest. As you do this, exhale.
  • The knee and crunch motions should take place simultaneously.

 Modification: To increase difficulty, extend your legs higher in the air (don’t let them drop down). Beginners can extend their legs downwards.

 Right-Sided Plank Dips with Feet Elevated on Stool

  • Lying on your right side, place your right elbow directly below your shoulder and perpendicular to your body. Place your left hand on your left hip.
  • Place your right leg on the stool and your left leg directly on top of the right leg.
  • With your knees straight, lift your hips off the floor and then slowly lower (without touching the floor between reps). Repeat.
  • Keep your head in line with your spine throughout this exercise.

 Modification: Do not use the stool. Or hold the plank without dipping. If you want to increase difficulty, place a weight on your left hip.

 Perform the same protocol for the Left-Sided Plank Dips

Lying Straight Leg Raise with Hip Thrust while Pinching the Stool Between your Feet

  • Lie on your back with your hands palms-down at your sides
  • Pinch the stool between your feet.
  • Keeping your legs straight, raise them up off the floor until vertical. Then thrust your legs upward, like you’re trying to put footprints on the ceiling.
  • Slowly lower your rear on the floor and then lower your feet down almost to the floor (don't touch the floor). The feet should only touch the ground at the beginning and end of the set. This maintains constant tension in the abs.
  • Do not use momentum

 Modification: no stool. No hip thrust. Place your hands under your bottom

You may also like to read 


  1. Vispute SSSmith JDLeCheminant JDHurley KS.The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat.J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):2559-64
Welcome! If you want to learn how to MOVE and EAT BETTER, you've come to the right place! I'm Dr. Sara Solomon. I'm a certified StrongFit coach and an intermittent fasting expert. I have degrees in dentistry (DMD) and physiotherapy (BSc PT), and I'm also a Pilates Mat Level 1 Instructor, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (2016-2021), ACE personal trainer, NASM fitness nutrition specialist, a Mad Dogg Spinning Instructor, and a certified level 2 Buddy Lee Jump Rope Trainer and Ambassador. I'm a BSN Supplements and Til You Collapse sponsored athlete. My passion is helping people overcome restrictive diets and muscle imbalances so they can FEEL their very best!


  1. hello there … thanks for this video.. here i wanna ask you more about amino last or BCAAs . even there are some protein shakes too. is it healthy to take these 2 together . and tell me more about this BCAAs. its adv. and disadv.

    thank you
    best wishes

  2. Great workout video Sara!
    Couldn’t get to gym so did this video workout with you Sara!

  3. Great video I’ve been following your workouts for a couple months.They really work you and help to burn fat. Thanks for the awesome info and videos!!!

  4. Hi Sarah!
    I have only been fasting for 2 weeks doing the 16/24 and I have lost 3 pounds all around my abs. I can relate so much with the over exercising and it made me eat more. This fasting has been so easy for me and I love it! Ine question I have is will my body adapt to this and not be as affective? Is that why many will go to the 20/24 or skip every other day eating? Thanks for sharing !


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