I tried a six-move abs routine from Chris Hemsworth’s trainers and it helped me get the most out of my core workout

    Harry Bullmore performs a static bear strike

Harry Bullmore performs a static bear strike

I’m often guilty of doing the moves during dedicated core workouts. Sure, I know they’re important, but they tend to wane at the end of my strength-training sessions when I feel more ready for bed than a few extra sets of sit-ups or the like.

To break out of this core workout funk, I put on some workout gear, rolled out my yoga mat, and enlisted the help of the experts; namely, Chris Hemsworth’s team of top trainers from his fitness app, Centr.

They shared a routine containing six of their favorite core-strengthening exercises to get me started. I stringed the movements together like a high-intensity circuit and got to work, and was surprised at how effective it was.

How to do Centr’s Six-Move Basic Workout

The six exercises in this workout are the static bear walkout, tiger curl, frog plank, supine v-up, criss cross, and rope pull. If any of these moves are new to you, watch the videos below for demonstrations by Centr instructors on how to execute them with proper form.

To put them together into a routine, perform the six exercises in turn for 45 seconds each, with 15 seconds of rest between them. You can do this for one round, which will take six minutes, or repeat the sequence for two or three rounds.

It’s also vital to perform each move with proper form to get the most out of your workout and avoid arching your lower back. Luckily, we spoke to one of Centr’s coaches, Ingrid Clay, who suggested three key training tips for boosting your performance.

How did I find this basic six-move workout?

Centr’s trainers decided to pick six exercises that “look easy but are actually fire”, and delivered this brief. I started with the static bear strike, which seems disarmingly simple. But the secret to the difficulty of this dynamic move is what it is Not in movement.

My core had to work overtime to keep my spine straight and maintain balance. After just 30 seconds my core muscles felt the same painful sensation that a minute or more of a standard plank usually brings.

I grit my teeth and completed the final 15 seconds, dropping my knees as soon as the clock struck 45.

Then came tiger locks. This was new to me, although I knew the basics of downward dog from the past yoga session (start with these yoga exercises for building strength if you want to work up to this move).

The trainer made them seem effortless, but I again found my stability challenged, as well as the strength and range of motion in my shoulders, although I really enjoyed the stretch it offered.

Harry Bullmore performs a breaststroke plank

Harry Bullmore performs a breaststroke plank

The breaststroke plank was just as tricky, providing a dynamic twist to the usual static forearm plank that many (myself included) may find a bit boring.

Next was the supine v-ups. As you might expect, I felt them in my rectus abdominis (the muscles in the front of my stomach responsible for six-pack shape), but that wasn’t all.

I also felt muscles found deeper in my core being put to work, like the transverse abdominis that wraps around my abdomen like a corset. This plays a vital role in stabilizing the spine and can take the stress off the lower back to prevent pain in this injury-plagued area, so it’s definitely worth strengthening.

To top it off, I worked my way through criss crosses and rope pitches. These provided nice alternatives to bike crunches and sit-ups, forcing me to slow down and focus more on nailing my form.

That way, I didn’t get a chance to go through the movements, and because my muscles spent more time under tension, the movements proved more difficult.

Would I do this workout again?

I would do this workout again. The moves were fun and a refreshing change from the usual clients that clutter up core workouts (looking at you, crunches). However, my biggest takeaways from this routine were Clay’s advice.

By focusing on my form (maintaining good spine and head position throughout) and working within my ability, I wasn’t given a chance to complete a lackluster workout on autopilot.

Instead, I was fired up the entire time and felt like I worked every single core muscle by the end of the session. Eventually I even ended up with some supermans for good measure.

If you enjoyed this short routine from the Hemworth Experts, it might be worth joining the Centr. As we found out in our Centr review, it was easy to find routines for all levels, there’s a handy meal planner, and you can even train your mind with meditation sessions led by Hemsworth himself.

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