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Fitness, Lifestyle

3 Easy seated core workouts to transform your daily commute into a fitness routine

In this article, we’re rolling out three super easy yet ridiculously effective seated core workouts. Whether you're on a train, bus, or in a cab, these moves are your secret weapon to fitness.

Source: Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Okay, so you're squished in your seat during your daily commute, idly swiping through your phone or staring out the window, and it hits you: "Why not turn this travel time into something epic?" Let's face it, we all dream of sneaking in a cheeky workout during the day but finding the time? Ugh, as if!

Well, guess what? It's totally possible to transform your boring commute into a secret fitness session. And no, we're not talking about doing burpees on the train or lunges down the bus aisle (though, props to you if that’s your thing!). We're diving into something way cooler and subtler – core workouts you can do while seated!

"Why the core?" you ask. Picture this: A core so strong, you're not just sitting; you're reigning on your commute throne! A strong core means better posture, less back ache, and you're basically one step closer to being a superhero. And the best part? You can stealthily tone your core without your fellow commuters being any wiser.

In this article, we’re rolling out three super easy yet ridiculously effective seated core workouts. Whether you're on a train, bus, or in a cab, these moves are your secret weapon to fitness.

So, let's buckle up (literally) and turn your next commute into a low-key ab-toning party. Your core's about to go from "meh" to "whoa" - and all before you even get to work!

The importance of core workouts

So, we’ve all heard about “working the core,” but what’s the big deal? Why is everyone from fitness gurus to your neighbour who runs marathons raving about core strength? Let’s break it down in the most non-boring way possible.

First off, your core is not just about sporting a beach-ready belly (though, let’s be real, that’s a pretty sweet perk). It's like the central powerhouse of your body. Think of it as your body’s command center – when it's strong, everything else just works better.

1. Say goodbye to back pain

Ever felt that nagging ache in your lower back after a long day? Strengthening your core is like giving your back a superhero sidekick. A strong core supports your back, reducing the oh-so-annoying aches and pains.

2. Hello, posture goals!

Want to sit taller and stand prouder? Core strength is your ticket. It's like an invisible corset that keeps you upright, making slouching on your desk a thing of the past.

3. Everyday tasks? easier!

From picking up grocery bags to reaching for that top shelf, a strong core turns everyday tasks into a breeze. It’s like upgrading your body to handle life’s little challenges with ninja-like ease.

4. Rocking your fitness goals

Whether you're into running, yoga, or even just walking, a solid core takes your performance up a notch. It's the secret ingredient in your fitness recipe that makes everything else just click.

So, why should you care about core workouts during your commute? Because it's the perfect time to sneak in some fitness magic. No extra time needed, no fancy equipment – just you, your seat, and a commitment to making your core ridiculously awesome.

In the next sections, we'll dive into the actual workouts. Get ready to turn your commute into a core-strengthening fiesta, and wave hello to a stronger, healthier, and happier you!

Source: Freepik

Workout 1: Isometric holds

Let's kick off our stealthy commute workout with something simple yet super effective: Isometric Holds. Sounds technical, right? But it's just a fancy way of saying, "Hold your muscles tight without moving." Easy-peasy!

Here's how to do it:

1. Find your sit

First, sit up straight. No slouching! Pretend there’s a string pulling you up from the top of your head. This is your starting position.

2. Engage your core

Now, imagine you're trying to zip up a really tight pair of jeans. Pull your belly button towards your spine. Feel that? That's your core muscles saying hello!

3. Hold it right there

Keep those muscles engaged. Aim to hold this for about 10-20 seconds to start with. Remember to breathe normally – no holding your breath!

4. Rest and repeat

Relax for a few seconds, then go for another round. Aim for about 3-5 reps. As you get stronger, you can increase the hold time and reps.

Why is it good?

No sweat, literally

You won’t break a sweat, but your core will definitely feel the workout. Perfect for not arriving at work or home looking like you've run a marathon.

Super discreet

Nobody around you will even know you're working out. It's like being a fitness ninja!

Builds endurance

This move strengthens your core over time, making those longer holds easier and boosting your overall core stamina.

Remember, the key here is consistency. It might seem too easy or too small to matter, but trust me, these subtle movements add up. By doing these isometric holds regularly during your commute, you're setting the foundation for a stronger core, better posture, and yes, even working towards that dreamy beach body.

Source: Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Workout 2: Seated oblique twists

Next up in our commute workout series are the Seated Oblique Twists. This is a fantastic move for targeting those side muscles, known as obliques, which are crucial for that all-important core strength and a sculpted waist.

How to twist it right:

1. Start seated

Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Again, think of that imaginary string keeping your spine nice and tall.

2. Hands up

Place your hands behind your head with your elbows out wide. This isn’t just for dramatic effect; it helps you keep your posture right.

3. Twist gently

Now, gently twist your upper body to the right, keeping your hips and legs facing forward. Feel the sides of your abdomen stretch and contract? That's the sweet spot.

4. Back to center and switch

Return to the center and then twist to the left. That’s one rep. Aim for about 10-15 reps each side, depending on how long your commute is.

Why is it good?

Oblique oomph

Targets those often-neglected side muscles, which is great for overall core balance and that toned look.

Easy on the spine

This twist is gentle and controlled, making it spine-friendly. Just remember, smooth movements – no jerking!

Boosts flexibility

Regular twists can increase your torso’s range of motion. Hello, increased flexibility!

Just a little heads-up

Be mindful of your movements, especially if you're in a moving vehicle. The goal is to engage the muscles, not to twist as far as possible. It's all about quality, not quantity!

Source: Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Workout 3: Abdominal contractions

For our final act in the commute core workout series, let’s get into Abdominal Contractions. This one is a game-changer, working deep into your core muscles with a simple yet powerful move.

Here’s How to Nail It:

1. Start with posture

As with our previous exercises, begin by sitting up straight. This is your power pose – own it!

2. Engage and contract

Take a deep breath in. As you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles as if you’re bracing for a light punch in the stomach. Keep your upper body relaxed.

3. Hold the squeeze

Try to hold this contraction for about 5-10 seconds. You should feel your abs working, but you shouldn’t be holding your breath.

4. Release and breathe 

Gently release the contraction and breathe in. That’s one rep done. Aim for around 10 reps to start with, and as you get stronger, you can increase the duration and number of reps.

Why is it good?

Deep muscle activation

This exercise gets those deep core muscles working, which is essential for a strong, stable core.

Improves muscle tone

Regular abdominal contractions help improve the tone and endurance of your abs, leading to better core strength.

Super stealthy

Like our other workouts, this one is uber-discreet. You’re getting a solid workout, and nobody around you is any wiser!

Each time you contract and release, you're silently yet effectively forging a stronger, more resilient core. These movements are like tiny power boosts, gradually building up your core strength with each commute. So, as you sit there, amidst the hum of the journey, remember: each gentle squeeze is a step towards a stronger you. 

Maximizing your commute for fitness

Now that you're armed with these awesome core workouts, let's talk about how to really maximize your commute for peak fitness benefits. It's not just about the exercises; it’s about creating a routine that sticks and enhances your overall well-being.

Consistency is key

First things first, make these workouts a regular part of your commute. It’s like brushing your teeth – do it every day, and it becomes second nature. A little effort every day adds up to big results over time.

Combine with healthy habits

Why stop at core exercises? Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated, pack healthy snacks to avoid vending machine temptations, and maybe get off a stop early to add some walking to your day. It's about making your commute a holistic health experience.

Track your progress

Keeping a simple log of your workouts and how you’re feeling can be super motivating. Over time, you’ll be able to see your progress, like holding those isometric holds longer or feeling less back pain.

Stay motivated

Find what keeps you pumped. Is it seeing your progress? Setting small goals? Rewarding yourself once you reach a milestone? Whatever it is, use it to keep your momentum going.

Safety first

Always be mindful of your surroundings, especially on moving vehicles. Safety over everything!

By turning your commute into a fitness opportunity, you’re not just working on your physical health; you’re giving your mental health a boost too. It's a time to disconnect from the stresses of the day and focus on you. So, next time you're en route, remember: you're not just commuting, you're elevating your life, one core workout at a time!

Safety considerations and precautions

While transforming your commute into a fitness routine is an exciting and effective way to improve your health, it's crucial to keep safety at the forefront. Here’s how to make sure your on-the-go workouts are both safe and effective.

1. Listen to your body

The golden rule of any exercise routine is to listen to your body. If something feels off or painful (and not in the good, workout-burn kind of way), stop immediately. It’s better to take it easy than risk an injury.

2. Mind your space

Be aware of your surroundings. Ensure you have enough space to perform the exercises without bumping into someone or something. This is especially important in a moving vehicle.

3. Avoid overexertion

Yes, we’re all for pushing limits, but not at the cost of your health. Start slow, especially if you’re new to core workouts, and gradually increase intensity.

4. Stay hydrated

Even though these workouts are low intensity, staying hydrated is key. Keep a water bottle handy and take small sips throughout your commute.

5. Consider motion sickness

If you're prone to motion sickness, some exercises might exacerbate it. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, take a break.

6. Consult a professional

If you have any existing health conditions or concerns, it’s a great idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.

7. Safety in transit

Always prioritize your safety in transit. If you’re in a moving vehicle, make sure you’re seated safely, and avoid any exercises during turbulent or erratic movements.


So, who knew your daily commute could turn into such a fitness goldmine, right? It's like finding a secret room in your house you never knew existed – full of potential! We've journeyed through three super simple, yet incredibly effective core workouts that you can do right in your seat, turning mundane travel time into a powerhouse of fitness opportunities.

Now, let's be real for a second – will these workouts turn you into a bodybuilder or a fitness model? Probably not. But that's not the point. The real win here is about making the most of the time you have, about sneaking in that extra bit of health and wellness into your daily routine. It's about taking a moment that was previously unused (or used for endless scrolling through social media) and turning it into something that benefits you physically and mentally.

Think about it – how awesome is it to get to your destination not just physically, but also feeling mentally pumped because you did something great for your body? It's about those small steps, those little wins that add up to a big impact on your health and well-being.


Friska 🐨

Read next: Leg workouts with dumbbells (full steps & guide)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are seated core exercises?

Seated core exercises are specific workouts that can be performed while sitting, targeting the muscles in the midsection of the body – the core. These exercises are designed to improve core strength, stability, and flexibility, particularly beneficial for those who spend a lot of time sitting, like during commutes​​​​.

2. Can seated core exercises improve posture and reduce back pain?

Yes, seated core exercises are effective in improving posture and reducing back pain. Strengthening the core muscles helps support the spine, leading to better spinal alignment and reduced tension in the lower back and hips​​.

3. Are seated core exercises effective for everyone?

Seated core exercises are versatile and can be effective for a wide range of people, including those with mobility limitations, older adults, or anyone looking to enhance core strength without the need for standing or high-impact activities​​​​.

4. What types of muscles do seated core workouts target?

Seated core workouts target a variety of muscles in the trunk area, from the pelvis to the shoulders. This includes the abdominals, obliques, lower back, and muscles surrounding the spine and ribs​​.

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