Beyond Crunches - Core Training Circuit

Posted On Aug 19, 2014 By Tim Arndt, Resistance Training Specialist

Beyond Crunches - Core Training Circuit

When it comes to core training, the abdominal crunch hails as the most popular and effective exercise. Crunches alone will get your core sculpting in the right direction. However, if you really want to see what your core can become, you're going to need a complete program that includes more than just crunches. Not only does your core flex your spine and trunk, it also plays a large role in twisting, side bending and holding still. The program outlined below will address all those components. It's simple, but don't confuse that with easy. After completing this routine, your core muscles will feel like they've been put through a meat grinder. After a few weeks, you should notice a significant increase in your core strength.

Here's what the program looks like:

Exercise Sets Reps
Ab Crunch (from Extension) 3 10-12
Wide Stance Anti-Rotation 3 12 per side
Side Plank Crunch 3 10 per side
Squeeze Plank 3 20 seconds
Ab Twist 3 10 per side


Here's how to do the program:

This is programmed as a circuit, meaning that you do one set of an exercise then move on to the next and repeat it three times. Take 30 to 45 seconds rest between each exercise.

Here's how to do the exercises:

Ab Crunch from Extension

Use a half foam roll (as pictured) or anything that your back can round over to extend your spine. Fold your arms across your chest and try to roll up like a rug. Remember to tighten your abs as hard as you can and then slowly return to your starting position. Abdominal Crunches

Wide Stance Anti-Rotation

Use a wide stance and grab the resistance band slightly wider than shoulder width with arms straight. Pull the band to the other side of your body without rotating your trunk or hips. Wide Stance Anti-Rotation

Side Plank Crunch

Start in a side plank position and slowly let your hips touch the ground. Squeeze your oblique to straighten out. Side Plank Crunch

Squeeze Plank

This exercise is just like a normal plank except you squeeze your elbows and feet into the ground using your abs.

Ab Twist

Start in a ¾ crunch position and slowly twist from side-to-side as far as you can. Ab Twist