The Kneeling Woodchop: 9 Minutes That Will Crush Your Core

The kneeling woodchop is part of this super-quick 9-minute session that will transform your on-bike strength and endurance.


By Danielle Zickl |

The kneeling woodchop, the mermaid tap: Stop! There’s such an endless number of core exercises out there, the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming at times. The good news: You don’t need a complicated 12-move ab workout to build strength and notice results. A quick, no-frills circuit is really all it takes to boost your performance on the bike and round out your training session.

Whether you tack a core circuit onto the end of your strength work or the end of a ride, training your midsection is essential to performing strong. “Your core is your power center,” says Lindsey Clayton, co-founder of the Brave Body Project. “A strong core directly impacts your endurance, speed, and power on the bike.”

That’s why Clayton put together this 9-minute ab circuit workout comprised of five easy-to-master moves that strengthen the muscles needed to climb, sprint, and even just spin easy on a casual ride.

“These exercises target your obliques—the muscles used in twisting, side bending, and crunching—which are movements we do on and off the bike,” Clayton says.

How to do it: Perform each exercise for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between. You’ll perform the first four moves on the right side. Then repeat all four on the left side. Finish with the final move. The whole circuit takes just under 10 minutes. Each exercise is demonstrated by Clayton so you can learn proper form.

You will need one medium to heavy dumbbell and an exercise mat.

Kneeling Woodchop

Start in a half-kneeling position on left knee, with right foot in front, both legs bent at 90 degrees. Hold a dumbbell above left shoulder. Swing the dumbbell diagonally across your body to the right, while rotating torso to the right until dumbbell comes to right hip. Return to the starting position and repeat.


Kneeling Oblique Bend

Kneel on both knees, holding dumbbell in left hand at your side. Place right hand behind head. Bend over to the right as far as you can, then immediately bend over to the left as far as you can. Continue to repeat.


Side Plank With Hip Dip

Start in a side-plank position on your right side, your right forearm on the ground and your left hand behind your head, forming a straight line from your head to your feet (feet should be stacked on top of each other). Slowly dip your hips and tap them on the ground. Return to starting position and repeat.


Mermaid Tap

Lie on your left side at about a 45-degree angle, legs straight. Shift weight onto left hip and place left forearm down on mat for balance. Extend your right arm straight up to ceiling. Engage your core to lift your legs straight up toward your right hand so your body forms a V. Lower legs back, and repeat.


Repeat the four exercises above on the left side.


Forearm Plank With Hip Dip

Start in a forearm plank position with core tight and elbows directly under shoulders, palms open. Engaging the obliques and core, rotate your lower body to the right and dip right hip bone toward the floor. Repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate.

READ MORE ON: abs core exercises core strength

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