There’s more to core training than just crunches or situps or even planks and bridges.
Don’t believe me? Then try any of these killer core carving moves in the video above from my all-new transformation program with Men’s Health, METASHRED EXTREME!
What’s so special about these exercises? Well, they incorporate an eclectic mix of what I call “MetaBoosts” to make these ab-sculpting exercises more effective. Here are some quick examples:
MetaBoost #1: During a pushup walkout, wrap a miniband around your wrists to make your scapular and rotator cuff muscles blaze like a bonfire.
MetaBoost #2: During mountain climbers or bicycle crunches, wrap a miniband around your feet for a proper hammering to your hip flexors that would make Thor proud.
MetaBoost #3: Combine several variations of the same move into one larger complex—like with the grizzly bear or crab cakes complex in the video above—doing a rep of each continuously for time. Beyond being more fun, you’ll challenge your coordination and excite your nervous system.
The 3 Best Ways to Use These Exercises
1. Active Recovery Work
These moves are low impact and easy to recover from so you can do them on off days or when you’re not feeling up for a high-intensity training session. In METASHRED EXTREME, my new workout program from Men’s Health, I combined these core exercises with mobility moves to create 20-minute recovery sessions that you can do between workouts.
Related: Are Six-Pack Abs Really Worth It?
2. Starters or Finishers
Because these moves warm up the pillar of your body—the core, hips, and shoulders—they make for excellent warmup drills. Pick a few that target key weaknesses and do each for 1 or 2 minutes with little to no rest between moves to set the tone for a safer, more effective training session.
You can also crank out some fierce finishers. Pick one move and do as many quality reps as you can in 5 to 10 minutes, resting only when needed.
Or combine a handful of the moves into a challenging circuit to end your workout with a bang. The options are endless!
Related: Blast Belly Fat For Six-Pack Abs
3. Monster Core Training Circuit
Bulletproof your joints and make your stomach scream by doing all of these exercises consecutively in one monster circuit!
Perform each move for a minute, switching sides halfway for all single-sided moves. Rest 30 seconds or less between exercises.
1. Band-supported leg lowering (left side, then right)
2. Miniband quadruped fire hydrant
3. Miniband pushup walkout
4. Miniband glute bridge walkout
5. Miniband superman pullup
6. Miniband pushup jack (hold the top of the pushup to make it easier or the bottom to make it harder)
7. Miniband side plank archer row (left side, then right)
8. Miniband dead bug (add bicycle crunch to make it harder)
9. Miniband feet-elevated glute bridge march
10. Miniband mountain climber
11. Band pushup-position reverse fly or row (left side, then right)
12. Ball-squeeze glute bridge march
13. Dumbbell hollow-body chest fly or sweeper
14. Plank complex: in-place trench crawl to plank pushup to walkup
15. Side plank complex (left side, then right): reach and rotate, hip dip, and elbow-to-knee crunch
16. Grizzly bear complex: in-place bear crawl, elevated bird dog, and break dancer
17. Crab cakes complex: reach across, reach over, and toe touch
18. Band-resisted side plank (left side, then right)
19. Banded Russian twist complex: twist left, right, and Y pull
Words by BJ Gaddour