Tips for Effective Core Training

Body Saw with Crunch (TRX or Stability Ball)
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Suspend the toes in the TRX or on top of a stability ball and position body in a prone plank on elbows. Engage core and open up at the shoulder joint, slowly pushing the body back in a saw motion. Do not allow hips to sag toward the ground. Pull body forward, lifting hips and pulling knees to chest in a suspended crunch action and then return to the plank position.

Beginner: Body Saw
Intermediate: Body Saw with Crunch (as described above)
Advanced: Perform Body Saw with a Pike movement or attempt the Body Saw from hands

Heavy Ball Rotational Throw (Partner or Wall)
Stand facing a partner/wall in a lunge stance. The leg nearest to the partner/wall is forward. Maintain a tall posture. Receive the ball with outstretched arms absorbing and controlling the force by activating the core musculature and rotating away from the direction of the ball. Rotate back toward the partner/wall and release the ball with both hands. To progress, come to a narrow stance, increase the movement speed or increase the weight of the heavy ball.

Beginner: Soft throw with a light ball
Intermediate: Hard throw with a light ball or soft throw with a heavy ball
Advanced: Hard throw with a heavy ball

High to Low Tubing Wood Chop (Rubber Tubing with handles)
Wrap your tubing around a pole and loop one handle over the other so that it's in single handle mode. Stand facing the tubing with feet together and arms outstretched at shoulder level. Grasp the tubing handle with a two-handed grip and keep the hips square. Allow the head to move with the hands and twist toward the pull of the tubing with the shoulders and torso. Engage the muscles around the core and stabilize the hips, twisting down and away from the pull of the tubing. The movement finishes with the hands at waist level.

Beginner: Wide stance with light resistance
Intermediate: Narrow stance with light resistance or wide stance with heavy resistance
Advanced: Narrow stance with heavy resistance

Standing Hip Drop (TRX)
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Stand facing the TRX, assuming a staggered stance where the inside leg is positioned forward. Place the TRX in single-handle mode grabbing with both hands and positioning on the crown of the head. Allow the hip to drop away from the body toward the floor, avoiding rotation of the torso.

Beginner: Shallow position using a slow movement speed
Intermediate: Position body at a steeper angle
Advanced: Keep the body at a steep angle and increase movement speed

Side Plank with Floor Taps-(Elbow, Hand, Feet--Floor/TRX)
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Turn on your side with one foot stacked on top of the other. Support upper body with one forearm, keeping hips square and core engaged while lifting off the floor. Keep elbow of supporting arm in line with shoulder. Focus on maintaining strong body alignment. An advanced progression is to add a piking action that is coupled with a rotational reach under the body followed by a return to the side plank position with the arm outstretched toward the ceiling.

Beginner: Support on elbow with feet offset (outside leg in front of back leg)
Intermediate: Support on hand with feet offset or support on elbow with
feet in TRX
Advanced: Support on hand with feet stacked on top of one another or support on hand with feet in TRX


Fraser Quelch is the Director of Programming and Education for Fitness Anywhere Inc. and is the founder of Storm Training Systems. He is also featured as an expert on Active Trainer. To get more information on his training plans, click here. To learn more about Fitness Anywhere Inc. and the TRX Suspension Trainer™, please visit www.fitnessanywhere.com.

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