5 Crunch-Free Killer Core Exercises

TRX Body-Saw With Knees

From the plank position with your feet in the cradles of the TRX, initiate the movement from your torso and shoulders by pushing your body back (think heels toward the back wall). As you come forward drive one knee towards the same side elbow. Repeat this movement and alternate knee strikes. Beginners should do five per side, advanced should do 10 per side.  

Video: TRX Body-Saw With Knees

MoreA TRX Workout Routine to Boost Endurance

Sandbag Get-Ups

The traditional Turkish Get-Up exercise is typically performed with a kettlebell. Instead of a kettlebll, try using a sandbag. There are two reasons to try the sandbag version. One, it's slightly easier to teach and two, having the heavy sandbag lay across the chest helps to challenge your breathing patterns.

Begin on your back with the sandbag over one shoulder and the same side knee bent with a foot flat. Leading with your chest, roll to the opposite elbow and continue to shift your weight up to the hand. From this position, drive through your hand and opposite heel to extend your hips. You will then sweep you leg underneath your body and come to your knee.

Next, you want to line up your body and lengthen the spine. From this split squat or lunge position, stand up tall and come to your feet. To return to the starting position, simply reverse the steps in a controlled manner. Try to do 10 on each side.

Video: Sandbag Get-Ups

Hanging Wipers

This is a favorite midsection movement. As mentioned in this video clip (see below), perform this in a controlled manner and don't feel you need to go too far from side to side. Your lumbar spine will thank you in the morning. You need a certain amount of core control and grip strength to get into this exercise. Once you are hanging from the bar, swing your legs up so you are inverted with your ankles, knees and hips. Make sure your hips are in a straight line, perpendicular to the ground. From here, let the legs fall from side to side, controlling the speed and movement from your obliques, erectors and abs. Try to do 20 to 30 reps.

Video: Hanging Wipers

Note: This is a highly advanced movement. Beginners should not do this unless you have a fitness expert assist you.

More: Your 30-Day Ab Challenge

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About the Author

Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a fitness professional and the founder of DB Strength in San Diego. He is also the head strength and conditioning coach for Alliance Training Center where he works many with top professional MMA athletes. Visit www.dbstrength.com for more information.

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