Even after the sun goes down, you are probably still rushing around getting things done--including your daily workout.
Having a strong core can protect you from back pain, which is one of the most common ailments for parents who lug their kids around constantly.
Strengthening your core doesn't have to take hours out of your day if you're doing the most effective exercises. Core work should be done 3 to 5 days per week for optimal benefits. I like to do my core strengthening in my living room at the end of the day while I'm catching up on what's going on in TV land.
Mix and match three or more of these exercises for an effective core workout in less than 15 minutes.
Plank1 of 13
Hold a plank position with your shoulders in line with your elbows and your butt in line with your back and legs.
Accordion2 of 13
Sit in a v position with your knees bent and your arms outstretched or behind your head. Unfold your body, keeping your core tight and controlled then return to your starting position.
Crunch3 of 13
Lie on the ground with your knees bent and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, keeping your abs tight and contracted on the way up and back down.
Weighted Sit-up4 of 13
Holding a weight or plate to your chest, perform a sit-up. No weights? No problem. Use a heavy household item instead!
Weighted Side Crunch5 of 13
Stand up straight, holding a weight or plate in one hand and slowly bend to the side with the weight, using your abs to return your body to the starting position.
Russian Twist6 of 13
Sit in a V position with your knees bent and ankles crossed. With or without a medicine ball, twist your torso from side to side in a controlled motion.
Ab Slide7 of 13
Using an ab roller or sliding plate, stretch your arms out in front of you until you're nearly parallel to the floor. Then use your abs to pull yourself back into the starting position. Focus on keeping your stomach tucked in. Beginners may need to work their way up to the full extension.
Leg Raises8 of 13
Holding a bench or partner's legs, use your abs to bring your legs up and swing them down with force without touching the ground.
Flutter Kicks9 of 13
With your shoulder blades just touching the floor, alternate 6-inch leg raises, keeping both off the floor at all times.
Mountain Climbers10 of 13
Starting in an elevated plank position, quickly bring your knee to your chest then switch.
Pike11 of 13
Start in an elevated plank position with your feet on sliding discs. Use your abs to pull your feet in, creating a v position then slide them back out into the starting position.
Holding V-Up12 of 13
Raise your arms and legs and hold a v position in the air.