8 Tummy Toning Core Exercises

8 Tummy Toning Core Exercises

Here's a quick and easy core workout option that you can do anywhere/anytime over the course of your travels, at the end of your workout at the gym or in your living room during your favorite TV show. There’s no required equipment, just you and your own body.

It’s Christmas weekend and a lot of people I know are traveling {including myself} and will be away from their usual routine and in front of lots and lots of high sugar food temptations for extended periods of time. While I’m not going to sit here and tell you that under no circumstance should you be eating any of the holiday deliciousness you’re about to come into contact with, I’m also not going to tell you to {let loose because you can reset it all in the New Year}.

The holidays can definitely be a trap for most people when it comes to diet and exercise {for obvious reasons} but what I’ve found to be most successful in keeping my health on track during the festivities that go on this time of year is to make sure that I drink enough water each day AND carve out some time to sweat-- no matter how long/short the workout might be. I have a whole list of other items to help keep you healthy throughout the holidays here, but honestly, if I get up and workout the morning of an event or holiday part, I am so much less likely to overindulge at the appetizer or dessert table.

I’m sharing this workout with you today as a quick and easy workout option that you can do anywhere/anytime over the course of your travels this holiday weekend. There’s no required equipment, just you and your own body… and maybe a mat and/or water bottle, if you choose.   

Throughout the exercise descriptions you’ll hear me say {engage your core} quite often, so I want to make sure we’re all on the same page about what this means.

Steps to fully engage your transverse abdominus {the deepest of your abdominal muscles}:

I want you to lie on your back on a flat, hard surface right now. Bend your knees and place your heels as close to your glutes as you can, now relax. I want you to think about pressing your low back into the ground beneath you by tilting your pelvis posteriorly {closer to the ground} and pulling your belly button in closer to your spine. Visualize shortening the space between your hip bone and your bottom rib, your core is strong, your core is fully engaged. Now release it and start all over again.

I want you to complete this exercise 15x, just like any other exercise… practice makes perfect.

Now that we’ve got that all squared away, the real workout can begin!

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Complete each exercise for 30 seconds, then move on to the next exercise. Rest for 30 seconds after completing all 8 exercises, then repeat 2 more times for a core focused workout that goes from start to finish in only 15 minutes!

Note: be sure to listen to your body and modify exercises/interval lengths/rest time when needed.

1. Bicycle Crunches

2. Flutter Kicks

3. Scissor Kicks

4. Toe Taps

5. Bilateral Leg Climbs {30sec/side}

6. Leg Lowers

7. Toe Touches

8. Boat Pose Hold

Complete 2x more!


Bicycle Crunches: Lying flat on your mat with your core fully engaged, allow your hands to gently cup the back of your skull. Use your core to lift your shoulder blades off the mat, then twist your torso to the right bringing your left elbow closer to your right knee. Without letting your shoulder blades meet the mat, twist in the opposite direction, extended the right leg and simultaneously bending your left knee to close the space between your right elbow and left knee.

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Flutter Kicks: Lying flat on your mat, either with your arms alongside your body or you can place your hands beneath your tailbone if you’d like more low back support, engage your core and lift your heels 2 inches off of the mat. With either pointed or flexed feet, begin to flutter {alternate} your heels up and down.  

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Scissor Kicks: Lying flat on your mat with your arms alongside your body, extend one leg long on your mat and the other straight up into the air. With either both feet flexed or both feet pointed, begin to alternately lower your legs {similar movement as the above exercise, you are just moving through a larger range of motion}.

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Toe Taps: Lying flat on your mat with your arms alongside of you, bring your legs into a table top or 90/90 position. Keeping your toes pointed, begin to lower your feet to the mat reaching them as far forward as you can. Once you tap the mat, use your core to pull your knees back to tabletop. This time, flex your feet as you lower your heels until they tap the mat beneath you. Continue to alternate between pointed toes and flexed feet throughout the entire duration of the exercise.

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Bilateral Leg Climbs: Lying flat on your mat with one leg extended long on you mat and the other extended high into the air, pull your belly button to your spine to fully engage your core. Begin to walk your hands up the leg that is lifted into the air--maybe this takes 2 hand placements, maybe this takes 5… do what works for you. Once at the top begin to walk your hands back down your leg, until your back is resting again on the mat beneath you and then begin again.

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Leg Lowers: Lying flat on your mat with your core fully engaged, press your low back into the mat beneath you and begin in the legs up the wall position. Keeping either both feet pointed or flexed, begin to slowly lower them both to the ground. Once your heels are a few inches from the ground, use your core strength to bring your legs back to the starting position.

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Toe Touches: Lying flat on your mat with your core fully engaged, lift your shoulder blades up off of the mat reaching your fingers to touch your toes. Lower back down a few inches, still hovering your shoulder blades over the mat and then begin again.

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Boat Pose Hold: Rise to a seated position on your mat. Sitting directly on your SITS bones, use your core to lift your heels off of the mat while pointing your toes and lifting your chest even higher. Extend your arms out long beside you and squeeze everything.

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Chat with me!

What are your favorite core strengthening exercises? Do you prefer prone core exercises {think planks} or supine core exercises like the ones posted above?

P.S. Looking for more at-home workout options? Check out my 20 Minute HIIT Cardio + Abs Workout, 20 Minute Total Body AMRAP or 8 Strengthening Resistance Band Exercises

P.P.S. Be sure to follow along with me on Facebook//Instagram//Twitter//Pinterest and Snapchat [definefettle] to ensure you don’t miss out on healthy recipes, workouts, and daily inspiration.

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