Tighten Your Core At Home Using A Simple Paper Plate

Exercise is an important part of a healthy life. However, it can be challenging to find exercises that engage you, especially if you are exercising at home. You do not need to have a virtual reality headset for home workouts to have a good regimen sans the gym. You can go a much lower-tech route by exercising with a paper plate (or two).


The beauty of paper plate exercises is that they are simple, yet effective. You can use the plates in place of glider discs and still get a wonderful workout. Depending on the moves you do, paper plates can work your legs, your arms, and/or your core.

The following exercises will introduce you to the world of paper plate training. However, something to keep in mind is variety. Variety in a workout is important for your body's health. You should alternate drills to ensure every part of your body is getting good exercise. Maybe start by focusing on your legs one day and your core the next. However you decide to plan your workouts, why not crack open your pantry and pull out paper plates every once in a while?


Active sitting

To ease yourself into paper plate exercises, you can start with active sitting. Sarah Lane-Ayers is a personal trainer who works at Cancer Wellness Connections and shared these plate exercises for legs. The active sitting exercises are formulated for cancer patients who have to sit for long periods of time during treatments, but if you work from home and need new ways to stay active while sitting at your desk, you can give them a try too.


To get started, sit in your chair and make sure you have good posture. Grab two paper plates and put one under each foot. Then, move one foot to the side and back to the center. Repeat this a few times and then repeat it with your other foot.

Next, use the plates to draw circles with your feet. Start in one direction, and switch to the other. Lastly, "ski" with your paper plates by moving one foot forward and the other back simultaneously, and then switching. Continue doing this, and add some arm movements as well.


Dana Santas has spent two decades working with professional athletes on breathing and mobility and writes health and wellness content for CNN. She penned an article on paper plate exercises that will work your core. Her first recommendation is lunges. With the slide-back lunge, you stand with one foot on one paper plate and one foot on the ground. Move into a lunge, sliding the foot on the plate backward. If you can, you should touch the floor with the knee that's behind you. Then stand up and repeat about nine times, before switching the plate to your other foot and doing it again.


The other style of lunge to do with a paper plate is a slide-out lateral lunge. Put the paper plate under one foot and move that leg to the side, bending your other knee. Stand back up and repeat about nine times before switching to your other leg.

There are modifications you can do to the lunges if needed. For the standard lunge, you can hold a wall. For the lateral lunge, you can rest one side on a chair while the other leg is stretched.

Plank circles

Dana Santas' next exercise suggestion is plank shoulder circles. With this move, you will go onto the floor in a plank position. Put the paper plate under one hand and keep your feet wider apart than your hips. Start drawing circles on the ground with the plate and keep your spine in its neutral position. You should draw four circles in one direction and then four in the other direction before switching hands. It's possible to modify the move by letting your knees touch the ground if your back begins to arch.


Next, you can transition to plank hip circles. Move the paper plate to one of your feet and resume the plank position, but keep your feet farther apart this time. Begin drawing circles with your foot and do the same number of repetitions: four in one direction, four in the other, and then switch feet.

The modification for hip circles is to lower the leg that isn't using the plate so your knee rests on the floor. You can also do back-and-forth motions instead of circles if that works better.

The mountain climber and pikes

Personal trainer Holly Strickland of Burn Boot Camp spoke with PopSugar about paper plate exercises for your core that use two paper plates. One of the five exercises she discussed is called the slider climber. This move also starts with a plank, but this time you have a plate under each foot. Then, you bend one knee and move one leg up toward your chest. After doing this movement, switch — push that leg back and your other leg forward to your chest.


Keep from arching your back and keep your arms straight. You should try to do this move for one minute, switching legs as many times as you can in that time.

Another plank move Strickland recommends is called plank paper pikes. This time around, you should rest on your elbows when doing the plank. Put a paper plate under each foot and, using your core strength, pull both legs toward your chest. Straighten them back out, and then repeat. Do not raise or tense your shoulders and keep your back flat. You can also do one leg at a time if needed.

Plate hold

The plate hold is a move from Holly Strickland where you should sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Put the paper plate between your feet. Place your hands on the ground behind you and bend your elbows. Once you are ready to go, lean back and lift your legs off the ground. Your legs and torso should make a V-shape if you are doing the position correctly.


While doing the plate hold, keep your back flat and lift your chest if needed to keep the correct position. You should try to hold the pose for one minute, and you can modify the move by bending your knees if needed.

Although at first glance it may not seem like it would do all that much, a paper plate workout can be hearty for your body. Whether you use plates for planks or simply to up your active sitting game, exercising with them should help you feel great without ever stepping foot in a gym.