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Bodyweight Workout: Build Your Core

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Workout Overview

Athletic ability, strength, and performance all come from a strong core. Your abs and lower back are the glue that connects your upper and lower body. When they’re strong, you’re strong. In fact, if I was to advise anyone on the single best thing they could do to enhance nearly any type of physical performance, that advice would be simple: build your core.

This week’s bodyweight workout will help you build your core: a circuit with three static holds, meant to challenge your mind, abs, and back.

The three movements: a wall sit, a plank hold, and a superman hold. You’ll hold each for 30 seconds, switching between them with no rest, until you’ve completed the prescribed number of circuits.

  • Beginners: Do 5 total circuits (you’ll do each movement 5 times)
  • Intermediate: Do 7 total circuits (you’ll do each movement 7 times)
  • Advanced : Do 10 total circuits (you’ll do each movement 10 times)

Bodyweight Movements

  • Wall Sit: Stand with your back to the wall. Sit back into a squat with your butt and shoulders in contact with the wall and your upper leg parallel with the ground. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Plank: Take a classic push-up position, with your arms locked out and your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in-line. Hold for 30 seconds. If this is too challenging, put your forearms on the ground.
  • Superman Hold: Lie face-down on the ground with your arms in front of you (a la Superman). Simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs, so your torso is the only thing still in contact with the ground. Hold for 30 seconds.

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Jon Gilson
Jon Gilson is a coach and writer, and the former CEO of the Whole Life Challenge.

Previously, he founded Again Faster Equipment, a functional fitness equipment company created to serve the CrossFit community. Established in 2006, Jon took the Company global in 2012, twice landing on the Inc. 500/5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies.

From 2007 to 2013, he served as a Senior Lecturer for CrossFit, Inc., training aspiring CrossFit trainers at over 100 seminars, including engagements in Iceland, Afghanistan, Moscow, Holland, the United States, and Canada. Jon also served on the CrossFit L1 Advisory Board, helping establish policy for the organization’s training efforts from 2011 to 2013.

He’s also done stints in state government, gym management, and consulting — and currently teaches classes at CrossFit City Line.

Jon graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2003, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Psychology. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Finance and Control from the Harvard Extension School, 2006, and has completed coursework in data analytics.