T Nation

Critique My Core Routine


i think i have developed a pretty solid routine, i am going to do it on wednesday and saturday.
Saxon Bends 3x8 each side
Weighted stability ball crunch 3x12
leg raises 3x6
cable crunch 3x10
Knee raises 2x12
twisted knee raise 2x12 each side
Stability ball crunch 1x30

thanks for any comments or suggestions ahead of time.


Why do you need that much ab work?

You're doing 14 sets of rectus abdominis + 3 more of obliques.

pay attention to how much volume you can tolerate. My workouts for the last couple months have been around 8-12 sets, including ab work. I can do more sets than that but prior to lowering the volume I felt burned out and was dragging ass in the gym and not making progress.

I prefer windmills but saxon side bends have their place. With windmills you can handle more weight and it's a greater range of motion.

The best my obliques have ever looked was when I trained them 3 days a week 2-3 sets x 3-8 reps. The higher frequency paid off, but I eventually burned out. Keep that in mind and switch up your ab exercises every couple weeks.

As for rectus abdominis I like the idea of using a conjugate approach with a rep day and a max day. Rep day could be max knee raises or sit-ups (do as many knee raises as you can rest 90 sec's repeat twice), max day could be working up to a heavy cable crunch or weighted sit-up. That's it for the week: 2 rectus ab workouts and up to 3 oblique workouts. If this felt insufficient then you could add in maybe 1-2 exercises after the max day and rep day.

You could also do rectus ab 3 days a week, but I believe the abs should be trained with trunk flexion and hip flexion so incorporate that or stick with the max day/rep day.


-I'd like to see another rotating movement, I'm partial to Full Contact Twists.

  • The set of 30 serves what purpose????

  • Throw in something heavy, like heavy sets of 3 or 4. Maybe the cable crunches or swiss ball crunches.

-A static move (like a plank, l-sit, or v-up hold) is the only aspect of ab training that's not addressed.

-How much low back work are you doing to coincide with all this ab training?

-Maybe consider splitting the routine in half, and doing part 1 Wednesday, and Part 2 Saturday.


i think that i have decided to scrap this core workout since i get enough core activation from my current workout program. thanks for the critiques though.