Core Training Workout: 5 Exercises To Build Core Strength

Need core strength? Don't just work your abdominals, train your entire core. This workout includes 5 exercises that will help strengthen you from obliques to erectors.

Workout Summary

General Fitness
Single Muscle Group
6 weeks
15-30 minutes
Cables, Dumbbells, Other
Male & Female
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Workout Description

It seems every trainer and gym rat from here to Kalamazoo is talking about core training these days. The problem with a lot of this chatter is that core has become synonymous with only the abdominal muscles for many.

Your core is made up of much more than just your abdominals. Major core muscle groups include:

  • Transverses abdominis - This muscle group is underneath your obliques. It is considered a mjor part of the core.
  • Rectus abdominus - Known as the "abs", it is a wall of muscle that runs from your breastbone to your pelvis.
  • Multifidus - Made up of a number of fasciculi (fleshy and tendon-like) that reside on both sides of the spinuous processes of the vertabrae.
  • Internal and external obliques - These 2 muscle groups run from your ribs to your hips.
  • Erector Spinae - This muscle group is on your back, running along the vertabral column.

The point in all this is simple: if you want core strength you have to work more than just your abs.

The following core workout should be performed twice a week, with several days of rest in between sessions. You will be working your abs, lower back (erectors), and obliques.

Core Strength Workout
Perform 2x Each Week
Exercise Sets Reps
Plank with Feet On Bench 3-4 60 Seconds
Hyperextension 3-4 12-15
Dumbbell Side Bends 3-4 12-15
Sit Ups 3-4 60 Seconds - AMAP
Flutterkick 3-4 60 Seconds - AMAP

15 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 02/11/2015 - 01:39

What is the best way to train for the Tough Mudder ? (12 miles) + serious obstacles)?

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Posted Mon, 11/03/2014 - 11:17

How much rest between sets?

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Posted Tue, 07/01/2014 - 00:46
Joe Nicolaas

how could i get P90x??

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Posted Mon, 09/16/2013 - 21:33

Is this to be performed in a circuit style or do I do 3-4 set of plank then move on etc

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Posted Thu, 06/20/2013 - 00:35

How about the Serratus?

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Posted Mon, 06/10/2013 - 10:18

This may sound like a stupid question... How come you never see core 'strength' workouts with strength gaining reps? Is it better to train abs with more reps to gain core strength?

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Posted Tue, 05/21/2013 - 17:14

I am training to be in the armed forces. I am in good shape but I am over the weight limit for my height. I am trying to burn as much weight as fast as possible. so far I have been running to sweat it all off but I need something else.

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Posted Tue, 05/21/2013 - 17:43

Hey Austin! While adding cardio to your routine will certainly help, you need to make sure that you're not ingesting more calories than you burn. Diet is definitely a major component in any weight loss program, and if you're not eating right, then weight loss will be extremely difficult. Here's a very handy article on fat loss in general:

I would also recommend some weight training, if you aren't already including it in a weight loss program. It's a great calorie burner, and can help build strength while you lose the excess body fat. There are some great workouts laid out on the site that are designed with fat loss in mind. You can check them out here:

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Posted Mon, 05/20/2013 - 18:06

Tony. u mad man you run and run and run hahaha. running is the best fat burner

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Posted Mon, 05/20/2013 - 06:53

When I work my Abs I can feel them but I have a layer of fat over them, how can I get rid of this fat. I am
5' 6" 10st 11lbs

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Posted Fri, 05/24/2013 - 08:32

Tony, maybe it has something to do with your diet

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Posted Tue, 05/07/2013 - 05:43
dr malone


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Posted Wed, 05/01/2013 - 18:50

I am currently in an academy that does physical fitness once a week to prepare us for a final test that includes a 300m run, bench press, sit ups and a 1.5 mile run. I can successfully complete every part of the test except the situps which I have been constantly practicing for over 6 months now. I have to do a specific amount in 1 minute and always come up a few short. Is there a specific workout I can follow to increase strength and amount of situps I can do?

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Posted Mon, 05/06/2013 - 21:46

the best way to increase max of sit ups and push ups is 80 to 90 % rep max for 5 sets, then go until full failure for as man sets as you can. you will notice your max rep range increase greatly

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Posted Sun, 05/11/2014 - 16:58

I would try ab ripper x from p 90 x with the amount of reps they perform you should be able to pass. or do abs every day and at the end of the week test your self at the end of the week