Ditch sit-ups - strengthen your core with these three moves instead

This bodyweight session develops your core and strengthens your shoulders in less than 10 minutes

A woman doing a core workout at home
(Image credit: Getty / LumiNola)

A core workout isn't a core workout without a healthy serving of sit-ups and crunches, right? Wrong! 

If you're bored of these two moves, there are plenty of other options for strengthening your midsection muscles. You can try most of them at home without any equipment too (although a yoga mat can be handy for extra cushioning and grip). 

This quick workout from Sweat app trainer Kelsey Wells combines three of these bodyweight moves for a quick-yet-comprehensive workout that promises "increased activation" of your core muscles.

To give it a go, perform the first exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, then follow the same format for the second and third exercises. Repeat this sequence for three rounds in total for a nine-minute workout. 

For a guide to the three moves you'll be facing, watch Wells' demonstrations below, then you're all set to get started with this sit-up-free session. 

Watch Kelsey Wells' three-move core workout

You might be wondering why Wells says her workout will provide more core activation than your average abs workout, and there's a good reason for this.

"Moves like these activate and work your entire core, which is actually made up of many different muscles including your external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae (deep back muscles) and the gluteus maximus," she explains. "Not to mention, you're hitting your shoulders as well."

So, if you're weighing up whether to take on an abs vs core training session, Wells' workout definitely falls into the latter camp, and it offers plenty of benefits as a result. 

Training a range of core muscles can improve your balance and stability, as well as improving your performance in weighted compound exercises like squats and deadlifts. It can even ease lower back pain as your newly-strengthened core muscles take strain away from this area when bending and lifting heavy objects. 

If this workout has tickled your core training taste buds, never fear; Fit&Well has plenty more options where that came from. This core workout for beginners is ideal if you're new to strength training, or if you want to step things up a notch you can take a run at this 15-minute bodyweight routine.

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.