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8 Functional Bodybuilding Abs Exercises to Build Powerful Core Strength

Strengthen your body in unique and new ways with these excellent abs exercises.

These functional bodybuilding Abs exercises from Marcus Filly are an alternative way to train your core and will attack and strengthen your midline in completely unique ways.

Marcus Filly is a multiple time CrossFit Games athlete known for his extensive work in functional bodybuilding and pushing the frontiers of fitness in exciting ways. The functional bodybuilding concept consists of the idea that you can be fit (functional) and look good (bodybuilding) at the same time.

Try adding these functional bodybuilding abs exercises into your training and keep things varied, fresh, fun and effective.

Abs Exercises will help you develop a strong core, which is essential for any athlete. Six pack abs are not – but they are fun and are also a goal for some people.

While the sport of CrossFit puts function first, other sports like bodybuilding generally prioritise aesthetics over fitness. The former can be a healthier approach, because your body becomes defined by what it can do, and not just by its constantly changing looks.

Marcus Filly pioneered functional bodybuilding abs exercisesSource: Marcus Filly

In the end it all comes down to what you are training for, and what goals you would like to reach.

Whatever your targets, these eight functional bodybuilding abs exercises will help you to forge a strong core and six pack abs. Remember that without the right nutrition, you will not see or experience any meaningful results.

Words by Marcus Filly.

Functional Bodybuilding Abs Exercises


This is an advanced Core Movement. The star plank combines lateral core and hip isometric contractions and is tough to balance.

Add in the ring stability demand and you have the recipe for a full body contraction requirement that will make even the strongest athletes shake. Approach at your own RISK!


Keeping the arms locked throughout the entire movement is critical. When you reach the top of the repetition we want to see that the arms are pointed directly to the ceiling, the biceps are close the the ears, and there is a straight line from KB to shoulder, to hip.

This is perfect movement to use within a conditioning workout or as part of a warm up.

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