Core work is an important part of a well-rounded fitness program that can help improve balance and stability, as well as your overall level of functional fitness.

Try this 20-minute core, lower back and hip shred, created with minimal equipment in mind, to tighten and tone your midsection.

Wood choppers with dumbbell (2 sets of 12 reps)

  • Hold a dumbbell in both hands, stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Raise your arms up over your right shoulder, keeping your eyes on your hands
  • Your arms should be bent but engaged
  • Bring them down diagonally across your body, lowering down and bending your knees while rotating your torso to the left
  • Be sure to keep your legs and hips square throughout the exercise

Side bend with kettlebell or dumbbell (2 sets of 12 reps)

  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell or kettlebell with your left hand and place your right hand gently on your waist or head
  • While keeping your back straight and your head facing forward, bend at the waist towards the right side of the room
  • Once you’ve bent as far as possible, hold for a moment before releasing your torso back to the centre for one rep
  • Repeat the movement on the opposite side

Russian twists with dumbbell (2 sets of 12 reps)

  • Sit on the ground with your knees bent towards your chest and your feet slightly lifted off the floor
  • Hold a dumbbell, medicine ball or weight plate (or clasp your hands together) in front of your chest
  • Rotate your arms and torso to one side and pause momentarily before returning to the centre for one rep

Side plank hip lifts (2 sets of as many reps as possible while still maintaining good form)

  • Begin on your side with your forearms flat on the floor, your bottom elbow directly under your shoulder and both legs extended
  • Your feet can either be staggered for stability or stacked for more of a challenge
  • Engage your core and lift your hips off the floor, forming a straight line from your head to your feet
  • Pause at the top of this movement for a few seconds before lowering your hips back down to the starting position for one rep

Dead bugs (2 sets of as many reps as possible while still maintaining good form)

  • Begin laying on your back
  • Extend your arms straight up to the ceiling and lift your shoulder blades off the ground to create tension in your abs
  • Bend your knees and lift your feet off the ground
  • Lower your right arm and left leg at the same time, while keeping the opposite arm and leg in the start position
  • Pause briefly before bringing the right arm and left leg back up to the starting position, and repeat the movement on the opposite arm and leg