A 15-Minute No-Equipment Core Workout to Do at Home

In an ideal world, we’d all have plenty of time to head to the gym and work out whenever we please and check every other task off our to-do lists in the meantime. In reality? Sometimes all you have time for is a quick workout at home that you can do without equipment. The good news is that there actually are plenty of ways to squeeze a solid no-equipment workout into a short amount of time.

Below, you’ll find a core workout you can do at home, which was created by TruFusion trainer Alyssa West. Working all the muscles in your midsection—including the obliques (the muscles on the side of your body), rectus abdominis (what you think of as “abs”), transverse abdominis (your deepest internal core muscles), and yes, your glutes—is important for many reasons. “Working the [core] helps you maintain balance, good posture, and an overall strong [body],” says West. A solid core gives you a strong and sturdy foundation, which will help you move better in everyday life and be more successful in lifting heavier and pursuing other fitness-related goals. After all, most movements you do require some sort of core engagement to keep you stable, so the stronger these muscles are, the better.

The best part about this workout is that it requires just your bodyweight, so you can do it anywhere, as long as you’ve got enough space to do a plank. West adds that even though these moves focus primarily on the core, they challenge plenty of other muscles in your body—specifically, your shoulders and arms will get some love, too.

So next time you’re craving some strength work but are pressed for time, drop down and do this 15-minute no-equipment core workout and feel the goodness throughout your entire body.

Demoing the moves below are Cookie Janee, a background investigator and security forces specialist in the Air Force Reserve; Amanda Wheeler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Formation Strength, an online women’s training group that serves the LGBTQ community and allies; and Crystal Williams, a group fitness instructor and trainer who teaches at residential and commercial gyms across New York City.

The Workout


  • Plank to Dolphin
  • Push-up
  • Plank Tap
  • Forearm Side Plank With Twist
  • Bicycle Crunch
  • Plank to Downward Dog
  • Diamond Push-up
  • Lateral Plank Walk
  • Boat Pose


Perform each exercise for one minute, resting 30 seconds after each move.

As you get comfortable, you can swap that 30 seconds of rest for jogging in place, suggests West. Keep track of your reps, and try to squeeze in more every time you do the workout, she adds.

If you’re feeling up for it, you can do this workout twice for a total 30-minute workout.

Here’s how to do each move:

Katie Thompson

1. Plank to Dolphin

"Plank to Dolphin is a great warm-up for the shoulders, arms, and core," says West. "We want the shoulders warm for the push-ups to come." (Don't say you weren't warned!)

  • Start in a forearm plank with your forearms on the floor, elbows directly underneath your shoulders, hands facing forward so that your arms are parallel, and legs extended behind you. Tuck your tailbone and engage your core, butt, and quads. This is the starting position.
  • Press through your forearms and lift your hips up and back, creating an inverted V shape with your body. Your head should now be between your shoulders.
  • Pause for a second and then slowly lower back into a forearm plank.
  • Continue this movement for for 1 minute.

Targets the core, deltoids, rhomboids, and quads.

Katie Thompson

2. Push-Up

Push-ups work your abs, arms, and shoulders all at once, says West—win, win, win.

  • Start in a high plank with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor. Drop to your knees if needed.
  • Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

Targets the core, pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.

Katie Thompson

3. Plank Tap

"Adding shoulder taps to a plank increases the [core] work needed to maintain stability," says West. It also activates your shoulders, which take turns bearing weight.

  • Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Tap your right hand to your left shoulder while engaging your core and glutes to keep your hips as still as possible so that they're not swaying from side to side.
  • Do the same thing with your left hand to right shoulder.
  • Continue alternating sides for 1 minute.
  • To make this easier, try separating your legs a little more.

Targets the core, deltoids, and triceps.

Katie Thompson

4. Forearm Side Plank With Twist

"No core workout would be complete without side work," says West. A side plank alone is challenging, and the twist adds a little extra oomph.

  • Start in a forearm side plank by propping your body up on your left forearm, with your elbow stacked underneath your shoulder and your hand in front of your body. Extend your legs and stack your right foot on top of your left, and then squeeze your abs and glutes to lift your hips off the floor.
  • Place your right arm behind your head, with your elbow bent and pointing up toward the ceiling. This is the starting position.
  • Rotate your torso toward the floor, bringing your right elbow to meet your left hand. Don't let your hips drop—the movement should just come from your core.
  • Then, reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  • Continue for 1 minute. Then repeat for 1 minute on the opposite side.

Targets the the core (especially the obliques) and the deltoids.

Katie Thompson

5. Bicycle Crunch

"Bicycle crunches let the arms rest but create enormous work in the midsection by moving the upper body and lower body simultaneously," says West. "The emphasis is on bringing the opposite elbow and knee together while still maintaining a flat back on the floor."

  • Lie faceup with your legs in tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and stacked over your hips). Place your hands behind your head, elbows bent and pointing out to the sides. Use your abs to curl your shoulders off the floor. This is the starting position.
  • Twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee, while simultaneously straightening your right leg.
  • Then, twist to bring your left elbow to your right knee, simultaneously straightening your left leg.
  • Continue alternating sides for 1 minute. Go at a slow and steady pace so that you can really twist and feel your abs working.

Targets the core, especially the rectus abdominis and obliques.

Katie Thompson

6. Plank to Downward Dog Tap

"Shifting forward into a plank from Down Dog requires an immense amount of control and strength," says West.

  • Start in a high plank with your wrists under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.
  • Push your hips up and back to move into a Downward Dog with your heels reaching toward the floor.
  • Keep your core tight and shift your weight forward to come back into a high plank.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

Targets the core, deltoids, and rhomboids.

Katie Thompson

7. Diamond Push-Up

Diamond push-ups make the back of your arms seriously work, while the push-up position (basically a moving plank) still challenges your core, says West.

  • Start in a high plank with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Walk your hands together so that your thumbs and forefingers form a triangle. This is the starting position.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the ground. Then, straighten your arms and push your body back up to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
  • To make this easier, drop your knees to the ground. Just make sure to keep your core tight and your hips tucked in this position.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

Targets the core, triceps, deltoids, and pectorals.

Katie Thompson

8. Lateral Plank Walk

"The whole core is challenged in this one exercise to maintain stability and keep everything in motion," says West. "The arms are challenged first by the position and then the movement side to side."

  • Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Take a step to the right starting with your right hand and right foot and following with your left hand and foot, maintaining a plank position as you move. This is 1 rep.
  • Do a set amount of reps in one direction, and then repeat the same amount moving in the opposite direction.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

Targets the core, deltoids, and triceps.

Katie Thompson

9. Boat Pose

"You'll definitely feel a minute of boat with the belly drawn in and the chest lifted," says West. It's tough to hold this for the full 60 seconds, but there's no better way to end a workout than with a challenge, right? (That being said, if you are struggling to maintain proper form for the full minute, take a break after 30 seconds, reset, and try holding for another 30.)

  • Sit up straight with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor.
  • Keeping your legs together, slowly lift them off the floor until they form a 45-degree angle to your torso. Engage your entire core, keep your back flat, and balance on your tailbone.
  • You can keep your knees bent (as pictured) or straighten them out for more of a challenge.
  • Reach your arms straight out in front of you, parallel to the floor. If you feel that you need some extra support, place your hands on the floor, underneath your hips.
  • Hold here for 1 minute.

Targets the core, hip flexors, and shoulders.

Gifs and images: Photographer: Katie Thompson. Hair grooming: Yukiko Tajima. Makeup: Risako Matsushita. Stylists: Rika Watanabe.

Gifs 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8: Model Cookie Janee is wearing a Vaara Cloe Sports Bra, approximately $ 113 (£90),; Tory Sport Chevron Leggings, $ 125,; and Nike Metcon 4 Champagne sneakers, $ 130,

Gifs 2 and 7: Model Amanda Wheeler is wearing Nike Bliss Lux Mid-Rise Training Pants, $ 90,; a Nancy Rose Performance tank; and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 sneakers, $ 120,

Gif 3 and image 9: Model Crystal Williams is wearing a Puma Women's Chase AOP Top, $ 45,; Lululemon Align Pant II 25" leggings, $ 198,; and Asics sneakers, similar styles at

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