Abs and Core Exercises

Hard Core Workout

Bolster your big lifts with this challenging core routine.

M&F Cheat Sheet: Core Construction

Any midsection workout worth doing will accomplish multiple goals. If all you’re getting out of your current ab routine is a better-looking washboard stomach, find something better: a core workout that will not only harden the abs and obliques, enhance overall athleticism and help keep you injury-free, but one that will also improve your poundages on exercises like squats, deadlifts and cleans.

People don’t usually think of these big lifts as core exercises, and then they wonder how a guy who’s not very big can squat or deadlift over twice his bodyweight for reps. It’s because he’s got a strong core that keeps his back from folding when there’s a heavy barbell sitting on his traps. It doesn’t matter how big you are. If your core’s weak, you’re not squatting a lot of weight.

The below workout hits the entire core with a quartet of exercises that includes two isometric hold exercises and two dynamic rotational moves. Perform the routine 2-3 days a week, adding it to the end of any workout or doing it on its own if you wish.


Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Floor Bridge Hold 5-6 90-120 sec. 25 sec.
Russian Twist 3 20-25 per side 25 sec.
L-Hang 4-5 Max. Time 1 min.
Woodchopper 3 12-15 per side 1 min.

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