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3 Core Exercises You Need to Start Doing

3 Core Exercises You Need to Start Doing

Written by
November 6, 2014
Updated April 11, 2018

When it comes to core exercises, there is always a variety of unique exercises that you could come up with. In my previous article with the Onnit Academy, you might have seen one of those unique exercises called 4 claps. If you haven’t tried it out yet I suggest you do.

As for the best core exercises you never do, here are three that will become your go to exercises for the greatest gains. Also, they will leave you telling yourself, “I would rather go to hell that do that again.” Here are the 3 core exercises you need to start doing.

Core Exercise #1: Hanging Leg Lifts

This is an extremely challenging exercise, incorporating more then just your core. You will need a pull up bar or anything that you can hang from that is sturdy enough to support your bodyweight, such as a tree branch.  Here are the steps to correctly performing Hanging Leg Lifts.

  1. Hang from a bar
  2. Raise your legs together up past your waist line. Then go back to a hanging position. This will strength your rectus adominus (six-pack). For an extra challenge raise your legs up and toward the bar you are hanging from and touch your ankles to the bar.
  3. To hit your obliques you want to keep your legs straight but rotate them like a windshield wiper from left to right. Make sure your legs are going up past your your hips and toward your head and then drop them to the other side and repeat.

*** Note that your grip will be strengthened and challenged in this exercise as well.

Core Exercise #2: Core Throwdowns

Your second exercise requires a partner, but wow. This core exercise will really leave your abs on fire. It is called Core Throwdowns. Soccer players use this drill to develop a powerful core so they can cut and move quickly. Here are the steps to correctly performing Core Throwdowns

  1. With a partner, lay down on the ground and have your partner stand right next to your head and put their feet by your shoulders.
  2. Grab on to your partners ankles for support.
  3. Then with your legs straight, bring them up together to your partner’s chest. Your partner now gets to throw down your legs forward and to the sides. Make sure they throw your legs down straight and to the sides in a North, North West, North East direction. East and West can hurt your lower back.
  4. Make sure you do not let your feet touch the ground.
  5. Your partner must throw your legs hard, so make fun of them or call them names first so that they really throw those legs down hard.

This exercise is performed one minute at a time. Trust me its tough. If you want an added challenge go for 2 minutes,  but all I can say is good luck.

Core Exercise #3: Ab Wheel


The last and in my opinion, the hardest,  single best exercise you are not doing for your core is the Ab Wheel. This little piece of heaven,  is the best tool to take on the road with you. It breaks down flat and weighs almost nothing. So you can take it with you on your travels and it only cost about $10 at

Start the exercise on your knees and hold onto the handles of the Ab Wheel. Begin by rolling yourself forward and to each side, ensuring you hit the complete midsection. Your wrists, arms and shoulders will also get a workout in addition to your core.

Perform this 12 times in each direction for 7 rounds and call it a day. When you get really good at this drill you can start from a standing position, placing the ab roller at your feet and roll out in all three directions before rolling back to a standing position. This is an extremely difficult drill,  but it will give you abs of steel, making it very difficult for you to pass security at the airport.

Core Exercise Workout


A1: Hanging Leg Lifts – 7 rounds x 12 reps
A2: Core Throwdowns – 7 rounds x 1-2 minutes
A3: Ab Roller – 7 rounds x 12 reps (each side)

Ryan T mortensen is an Onnit original certified trainer. He comes to us with over 21 years of martial arts training. His focus has been on creating new body weight exercises like the Assassin and 4 claps. His favorite fitness tool is tge Onnit Mace. Some of his original moves are called head hunters and marionettes. Ryan is the founder of the health and wellness movement Add1lifestyle.Com Add 1 Lifestyle is about encouraging people to Add 1 positive thing to their daily lives. Ryan began his fitness carreer as a kickboxing instructor in Austin Texas and has developed a large f an and student base. His students and other fitness professional refer to him as the Ninja. A little known fact about Ryan in all his videos and articles he adds a bit of humor. That's because Ryan moonlights as a stand up comedian. Check out one of his shows at Follow him on IG RyanTMortensen
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