There’s more to core work than simply crunching your body up and down at a steady pace. Every time you change direction, swing a bat, or throw a football, there’s an intricate network of muscles at work—and if you want to be prepared for explosive, athletic movements, you need to prepare your core accordingly.

The following core workout is a quartet of moves designed to deliver more than just looks. You’ll strengthen your torso from top to bottom and front to back and improve your rotational power. And yes, it’ll help you get a six-pack, too.

The Core Workout

Excercise Reps
TRX Body Saw With Pike 10-20
Hanging Windshield Wipers 5-10 per side
Medicine Ball Wall Throw 10 seconds
Plyometric Knee Tuck 10-20

1. TRX Body Saw With Pike

With your weight on your hands or on your elbows and forearms, and your feet suspended in the TRX, take a pike position and lift your glutes up. Keeping your core tight is the key to suspension training.

2. Hanging Windshield Wipers

Keep this movement under control. Don’t create momentum by swinging your legs. If the hanging version is too challenging, perform these lying faceup on the floor.

3. Tornado Ball Wall Chops

Stand a few feet from a solid brick or concrete wall, facing away from it. Hold the ball with both hands and explosively rotate your torso to throw it into the wall.

4. Plyometric Knee Tuck

From a push-up position and with your feet hooked to a Keiser Functional Trainer or FreeMotion machine, forcefully drive your knees forward and up to your chest, then return to the (legs extended) push-up position.

Ray Wetterlund III is the owner of RW3 Fitness in La Jolla, CA.