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5 Core and Abdominal Workouts to Strengthen Your Midline

Almost every movement you make in and out of the Box involves your core, working on making it stronger should be on every athlete’s list.

Your core, working together with the trunk of muscles that make up your torso, helps stabilize your spine and acts as a foundation for all functional movements and good posture.

A strong core is vital to overall fitness. It will make pretty much any activity easier; from basic exercises like running to more complex moves like legless rope climbs, as well as aid you in everyday life activities.

The core stabilizes the body and a strong one will reduce your risk of injury, as it is the foundation that allows you to move well.

If you can test and train your core in various ways, you will be able to build solid overall core strength. Here are five core and abdominal workouts that involve different parts of the muscle group you should try out.

Core and Abdominal WOD 1

L Sits work your entire core instead of targeting a specific muscle group. L sits demand perfect form, so they’re a great way to identify any weaknesses.


  • 20 Second L-Sit Hold (rings or parallettes)
  • 20 Second Hollow Rock
  • 20 Seconds of Sit-Ups


Toes to bar have featured every CrossFit Open since its inception, so they’re not only a great exercise to improve your core but also a reasonably solid bet to improve your performance at the Open.

To swing your legs up to the bar while hanging is a great core and grip exercise. Try out the Open 16.2 WOD.

  • AMRAP in 20 minutes
  • Continue until 4 minutes:
  • 25 Toes-to-Bars
  • 50 Double-Unders
  • 15 Squat Cleans (135/85 lb)
  • If completed before 4 minutes, continue until 8 minutes:
  • 25 Toes-to-Bars
  • 50 Double-Unders
  • 13 Squat Cleans (185/115 lb)
  • If completed before 8 minutes, continue until 12 minutes:
  • 25 Toes-to-Bars
  • 50 Double-Unders
  • 11 Squat Cleans (225/145 lb)
  • If completed before 12 minutes, continue until 16 minutes:
  • 25 Toes-to-Bars
  • 50 Double-Unders
  • 9 Squat Cleans (275/175 lb)
  • If completed before 16 minutes, continue until 20 minutes:
  • 25 Toes-to-Bars
  • 50 Double-Unders
  • 7 Squat Cleans (315/205 lb)

Read more: The Ultimate Toes to Bar Progression for CrossFit

Core and Abdominal Workout 3

Overhead squats will test your core stability, as well as balance and general mobility.

Open WOD 15.2 is a full-body workout and it’s great for all abilities as it starts gently and gets progressively harder.

Every 3 minutes (until you fail to complete two rounds)

From 0:00-3:00
2 rounds of:

  • 10 overhead squats (95/65 lbs, 43/30 kg)
  • 10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00
2 rounds of:

  • 12 overhead squats
  • 12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

12, 14, 16…


Number of reps completed.


Same scheme:
2 rounds of:

  • 6 overhead squats (65/45 lbs, 29/20 kg)
  • 6 chin-over-bar pull-ups

6, 8, 10, 12…

Read more: 7 Fiery Overhead Squat Ab Workouts for CrossFit Athletes


Kettlebells are a great ay to train your core. Kettlebell swings involve the whole body and train many muscles simultaneously.

You can increase the weight of the kettlebell depending on experience and your level of strength.


  • Double Handed Swings – 20 reps

At the end of the 10 minutes you will have performed 200 swings, so don’t underestimate this workout.

Core and Abdominal WOD 5

Handstand push ups will not only work on your core but also strengthen your shoulder and upper body muscles and improve your balance.

Try this workout from the 2009 Games:

  • 8-min. AMRAP of:
  • 4 Handstand Push-ups
  • 8 Kettlebell Swings (32/24 kg)
  • 12 GHD Sit-ups

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