Use this 4-week core training plan that Coach Myers designed to help develop the core strength and stability needed to master more extreme core exercises.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Increase Strength
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration4 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout15-30 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Bodyweight, Dumbbells, Other
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

If you read my article 4 Brutal Exercises That Build Extreme Core Strength, you probably fall into one of three categories.  Maybe you have a very strong core and were able to attempt and conquer the 4 exercises.  Some of you may have attempted them and failed.  And I'm sure that some of you out there didn't even try them, knowing that your core training regimen has not been adequate enough. 

Well by now, I am sure that many of you are on your way to a strong, functional core and have incorporated the first two Core Strength Blueprints (1.1, 1.2) into your training regimen.  You may have already conquered the Barbell Climbs and Standing Med Ball Rollout, and incorporated the weighted Plank into your arsenal.  

I purposely gave you these three movements to work on and master before introducing you to one of the most difficult core exercises on Earth - the Spiderman Extensions. 

If you haven't mastered the other 3 that I mentioned then you may not be ready for this one…but if you have then I'm going to show you how to get there.   Since this is a movement done on gymnastic rings, it is essential that you have them to train on at your gym. 

Training on the Rings will "teach" you to be stable in all positions and help you master body control.  Stability on the rings also requires strength in the shoulder joint thru a wide range of motion, which is addressed by several Press variations in this Blueprint. 

With this being the most challenging Core Strength Blueprint yet it's important to remember that most of the exercises can be adapted to your skill/strength level by raising or lowering the Rings (or Incline bench for the Serrano Press); the lower the rings and closer your body is to parallel with the floor, the more challenging the exercise will be. 

Always start with the Rings higher and your body at a greater angle relative to the floor to get a feel for the exercise and gauge your strength accordingly.  First let's go over the six exercises for this Blueprint then I will lay out the 4 week progression that will build the strength and stability required to perform Spiderman Extensions.

Exercise Descriptions:

Ring Layouts: Grab the Rings at waist height and proceed to start in a push up position.  Keep your back rounded and abs contracted as you extend the rings out in front of you.  Before you reach the "point of no return" pull the rings back towards your waist and exhale.

Ring Push-Ups: As you lower into a push up, keep the rings in tight to your body close to the armpit.  The wider your hands are, the less stable you will be.  As you press your body up, gradually bring the rings together to meet in the middle.

Ring Inn & Outs: The easiest way to think of this exercise is to picture it as a combination of Ring Push Ups and Lay Outs. One arm is going to stay tight to your body and press (like a push up) while the other extends out (like a lay out). Alternate sides for each rep and try to move your arms in sync.

Serrano Press: This press variation was developed by my mentor Dr. Eric Serrano and is probably pound for pound the hardest exercise in the gym. Great for building strength and stability in all of the small muscles in the upper back that support the shoulder.

Lay face down on an incline set at a 45-degree angle.  Take a light set of dumbbells (5 or 10lbs to start with), rotate them so they are in line with your body and press them out.  Hold one extended while you press the other side.  Alternate sides with each rep.

Supermans: This is another exercise that is much harder than it looks and will do wonders for your low back and shoulder stability.  Lay face down on the ground with a light plate in each hand.  Arch up slightly so your chest and thighs are off the ground.  Extend your arms and perform a press, keeping your arms parallel to the floor and bringing your elbows close to your ribs.  Keep your head in a neutral position.

Reverse Hyper Extension on Swiss Ball: Unless you are lucky enough to have a Reverse Hyper at your gym (of course we have one at Old School Gym), you will need to set up a Swiss ball on a bench for this variation. 

Situate the bench in the middle of a squat rack so as you drape yourself over the ball you can reach down low and grab ahold of the rack.  Tighten your low back and glutes, bringing your legs up to parallel to the floor.  Relax your back slowly and let your spine round back to the contour of the Swiss Ball.  Do not swing or bend your legs.


Week 1

Exercise Sets Reps
Ring Lay Outs 1 10
Ring Push Ups 2 Max
Ring Inn & Outs 2 10 (per side)
Serrano Press 2 8 (per side)
Supermans (on ground, no weight) 1 25
Reverse Hyper Extension (on Swiss Ball) 1 25

Week 2

Exercise Sets Reps
A. Circuit (3 rounds):
- Ring Lay Outs 1 10
- Ring Push Ups 1 Max
- Ring Inn & Outs 1 10 (per side)
- Serrano Press 1 8 (per side)
- Supermans (on ground, no weight) 1 25
B. Reverse Hyper Extension (on Swiss Ball) 3 20

Week 3

Exercise Sets Reps
Ring Lay Outs* 1 10
Ring Push Ups* 2 Max
Ring Inn & Outs* 2 10 (per side)
Serrano Press 2 8 (per side)
Supermans (w/5lb plates) 1 20
Reverse Hyper Extension (on Swiss Ball, 5sec. hold at top) 3 10
*Perform with feet elevated on plyo box

Week 4

Exercise Sets Reps
A. Circuit (3 rounds):
- Ring Lay Outs (on plyo box) 1 10
- Ring Push Ups (on Swiss Ball) 1 Max
- Ring Inn & Outs 1 10 (per side)
- Serrano Press 1 8 (per side)
- Supermans (w/5lb plates) 1 20
B. Reverse Hyper Extension (on Swiss Ball) 1 100

If you are able to survive the routine from week #4 it's time to attempt the legendary Spiderman extensions.  Make sure that your feet are higher on the wall than the height of the rings, and ideally the rings should hang no more than 3 feet away from the wall.  Keep your core tight and your body perfectly straight.  Start in a deep push up and as you press your body up, extend your arms out in front of you and then return to the starting position. 

If your "spider sense" tells you that you can't stay in good position, then you may need another week or two of the week 4 routine before you are ready.  If you can pull it off, congratulations…you have just conquered one of the toughest tests of core strength ever developed. 

Now that you have all 4 editions of the Core Strength Blueprint, continue to do the week #4 routines for each one weekly and continue to fine-tune your form on the extreme movements.  Now that you have built strong abs you need to be able to show them off.  Keep your eyes peeled for my next article "5 Intense Treadmill Routines to get you SHREDDED for the Summertime.”

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Posted on: Fri, 04/29/2016 - 18:59

So if this workout is 4 days per week for 4 weeks what is the best way to follow?
Example, monday, tuesday friday Saturday week 1 and same for week 2?

Posted on: Sun, 05/31/2015 - 19:10

This guy [The author] should understand that not all the gyms will have these machines and equipments. Good workout though.

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Posted on: Mon, 06/01/2015 - 10:06

That's true, but most of these could be modified in some way that you would still be able to accomplish them at a commercial gym.

Posted on: Sun, 08/30/2015 - 23:24

MikeWines can you please give examples of modifications at commercial gyms? I work out at a LA Fitness can you give examples of how I can do these modifications?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 08/31/2015 - 10:45

For any of the variations you could utilize a TRX if you didn't have access to rings. I've worked out at a number of commercial gyms and all of them had some sort of suspension trainer which would allow you to perform the same movements just with different implements.

However if your gym didn't have one, you could accomplish the same thing for the ring layouts utilizing a physioball (

For the ring pushups, you could utilize medicine balls or a physioball to generate some instability.

For the spiderman extension, I would recommend that the physioball rollout and pike (