The Inside-Out Core Crusher
Metabolic Monster Workout
You might think I'm kidding with that name... I'm not.
- Each exercise hits the core with a different functional focus
- Works all major muscle groups in addition to core
- Dramatically improves core strength and performance
- Develops the capability of your body to transfer force through the core
- Minimal equipment needed (dumbbell, barbell and rack)
I call it the Inside Out Core Crusher because the heavy core exercises feel like they're turning you...yes...inside out.
The cool part is, these exercises are actually NOT specifically abdominal exercises. They're exercises that work the core in addition to the other PRIMARY targeted bodyparts (you'll see).
This gives you excellent abdominal/core work while hitting every major muscle group in your body, which is going to get your metabolism ROARING.
Exercise #1 - Lower Body/Upper Body Force Transfer - One-Arm Dumbbell Floor Press - 105 lb db x 5 reps each arm
Exercise #2 - Anti-Rotation - Angled One-Arm Dumbbell Row - 8 reps each arm
Exercise #3 - Frontal Plane Stabilization - Unevenly Loaded Squats - 3-5 reps per side
Exercise #4 - Lower-Back Cross-Loading - One Dumbbell Reverse Lunge/Deadlifts - 5 reps
Exercise #5 - Anti-Flexion - Barbell Curl Squat x 2-5 reps
Take 3 min rest then repeat this circuit for 3-5 total rounds.
Exercise #1 - Lower Body/Upper Body Force Transfer - One-Arm Dumbbell Floor Press x 5 reps with each arm
First, set the dumbbell on the floor between your legs (I'm using a 105 lb dumbbell for this one). Pick it up with both hands on the handle then set it on your thigh.
Now lie back onto the floor and into the bottom of a bench press position, with your upper arm resting fully on the floor. If you're pressing with your right arm, bend your right knee, with your left leg almost straight.
You have to drive HARD into floor with same side foot when you press, giving you MASSIVE deep-core cross-tension. This trains your core to transfer force from lower to upper body.
When you've completed your reps on the right arm, rest the dumbbell on your chest briefly and switch arms. Then press with the left.
When you've finished with that arm, bring the dumbbell down then proceed directly to the next exercise.
Exercise #2 - Anti-Rotation - Angled One-Arm Dumbbell Row x 6-8 reps with each arm
Its likely that you can use the same dumbbell that you just finished the presses with for this exercise.
This exercise is similar in concept to a a standing Renegade Row. Your hand will be set about 4 feet up on rack post so your body is at an angle. As you row, this works the anti-rotation function of the core with a "pull" exercise (which basically means your obliques are resisting the rotational pull of the weight in order to keep your spine straight).
Maintain an arch in your lower back as you perform the row. Perform all your reps on one side, then switch to the other.
When you've finished your reps on that arm, go directly to the next exercise.
Exercise #3 - Frontal Plane Stabilization - Unevenly Loaded Squats x 3-5 reps per side
For this exercise, you're going to have more weight on one side of the bar then the other. In my case, I've got one 45 lb plate on one side and two 45's on the other. I would recommend you go lighter than this the first time you try it, though...trust me.
Frontal plane stabilization isn't something that's very commonly worked in most core training and you'll need to develop baseline strength in it before you start going heavy (the Frontal Plane is basically the plane that divides your body front and back...for example, side bends work in the frontal plane).
When you get set up under the bar, keep in mind that you'll need to pull down HARD with the lighter side hand and PUSH with the heavier side hand...this is what works the core in the frontal plane.
Then just squat as you normally would. The uneven loading will put massive tension on the core.
Do your reps on one side, then re-rack the bar and turn around to work the other side (you may find yourself leaning a bit more to one side as you fatigue, in order to counterbalance the load).
When you're done, re-rack the bar and go right to the next exercise.
Exercise #4 - Lower-Back Cross-Loading - One Dumbbell Reverse Lunge/Deadlifts x 5 reps
You can use the same dumbbell you were working with for the first two exercises (that's one of the nice things about this circuit - very minimal equipment needed).
What many people don't realize is that the lower back is a BIG part of your "core"...it's not just your abs.
This exercise gives you excellent lower back work (and cross-tension), along with obliques and transversus. This happens because you're holding only one dumbbell. The Reverse Lunge itself hits the legs and glutes very effectively.
This exercise looks like a superhero "landing" pose at the bottom. You're coming down into a Reverse Lunge and leaning forward at the same time.
Do your reps on one leg, then switch to the other and switch hands with the dumbbell.
When you've completed your reps on this leg, go back to the rack for the final exercise.
Exercise #5 - Anti-Flexion - Barbell Curl Squat x 2-5 reps
Take a plate off the bar you squatted with to even up the sides again. I'm using 135 lbs on the bar.
Hold the bar in top of a curl position, step out then squat. This is a GREAT anti-flexion core exercise, very similar in feeling to a Front Squat. Anti-flexion means keeping the spine from bending forward, supporting the torso in an upright position.
This exercise also loads the breathing muscles strongly, too, which as you can imagine, is just brutal at this point.
You're done! Take 3 minutes rest then repeat this circuit for 3-5 total rounds.
This circuit will absolutely TRASH your core, while hitting every other major muscle group in your body at the same time.
This workout attacks the core from every function and angle... no rest... no mercy.
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