10 minutes and four moves to build functional core strength

Improve your stability and make everyday tasks feel easier with this functional core circuit

A woman doing a kettlebell workout
(Image credit: Getty Images/miljko)

Workouts don't require a trip to the gym. They don't need to take hours of time either. We're big fans of accessible sessions that can fit around your busy lifestyle, just like this 10-minute core workout

It focuses on your core, using a series of movements designed to build functional strength, and you only need one of the best kettlebells to take part in this short routine from certified personal trainer Roxanne Russell.

Be sure to choose a weight that'll challenge you but won't effect your form. However, if you have several weights or an adjustable one, then you can change loads between moves as well. 

Some of the movements are floor-based, so a yoga mat can also help soften your surface. As it's crucial to do each exercise with perfect form, use Russell's demonstrations to practice your technique before you start. 

Watch Roxanne Russell's 10-minute core workout

For each move, you'll perform it on one side of your body for 50 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then do it on the other side of your body for another 50 seconds. After this, rest for a further 15 seconds then move on to the next exercise. 

While some routines focus on building visible muscle, Russell's workout is based around developing functional strength to mimic every day activities like lifting heavy items, walking up stairs, or even just sitting down and standing up. 

While regular resistance training often isolates individual muscle groups to build strength and size in this area, functional strength training focuses on the bigger fitness picture including elements such as mobility, flexibility, and full-body strength. 

If you're new to functional workouts like this, you may find you've asked more from your muscles than normal, leading to some aches the next day. This is what is known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). 

To help your body recover, some people blend up a post-workout smoothie to help repair the tiny tears in your muscles. This is a good way to use some of the best protein powders for weight loss, which are low in sugar and fat to help you hit your fitness goals and promote recovery. 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors, Metro.co.uk, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.