7 Highly Effective Functional Bodybuilding Core and Ab Exercises

These ab exercises will attack and strengthen your core in many new ways. 

Ab Exercises – Dumbbell Side Plank Rotation

“A great combination of scapular strengthening and mobility. Use side plank rotations to build back lost range of motion in the shoulder blade during injury cycles when the shoulder gets tight and protective. Add the top arm load to give the upper shoulder rhomboid a little extra work.”


Ab Exercises – Contralateral Glute Bridge Hold

“This is a great trunk and posterior chain drill to build the min muscle connection between opposite hips and shoulders. The connection between opposing hip and shoulders joints is one that shows up in so many human movement patterns. Running and walking are two examples. This is a great way to prepare the body if you have a session with some running coming up.”


Ab Exercises – L Hang Flutter Kicks

“This core crusher is also a great way to work your overhead position. Hanging is an activity that doesn’t get enough time in a typical day. Increase your total hanging time by adding in core exercises that can be done while hanging from rings or a bar. The benefits here are engaged flexor chain accompanied by a hollow body position to help reinforce good alignment overhead while stimulating the anterior chain.”


Ab Exercises – Supine 90/90 Cross Body Band Pulls

“Movements like this serve as great tools to connect different motor patterns around the body. Core engaged with the 90/90 Leg Position. Drive the low back into the floor. The cross body shoulder contractions are great prep for overhead work.”


Ab Exercises – Two Arm Turkish Sit Up

“The Turkish Sit Up places a very high demand in the anterior core. However, the Beaty of this exercise is the shoulder training and range of motion work. Stabilizing the shoulder through a 90 Degree range of motion with a straight arm hold has great carryover to Overhead Training.”


Ab Exercises – (Advanced) Rope L-Sit Pull Up

Advanced Upper Pulling – Advanced core positions combined with upper pulling and the added grip challenge of the rope = Advanced. Try these by making sure you perform equal reps with each hand position. Right on top and vice versa. Best coupled with a lower body squat variation for a superset to give ample rest time between sets.


Ring Mountain Climber

“Moderate Core Exercise – This is a bit of a precursor to the ring body saw exercise that you have seen on our channel before. Flexion of the hip on a stable spine and hollow position is a great skill to develop. You can practice is with this isolation drill.”


Find out more about Functional Bodybuilding

Awaken Training Series is the 12-week online functional bodybuilding program, and there is a free three day sample available here.

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