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Woman performing dynamic core exercise

Dynamic Core Warmup with Francheska Martinez

Written by
January 30, 2023
Updated February 28, 2023

The following workout comes to us from Francheska Martinez, an Onnit-certified coach and influencer specializing in functional movement (@francheskafit on Instagram). It takes five to 10 minutes to complete, and can serve as a warmup before a full-body workout—or, it can be a workout all by itself. The only difference is how much you want to put into it.

Perform the exercises with light weights, concentrate on speed and power, and hold back from going to failure if you want a warmup that increases alertness and raises your core temperature. Go heavier and closer to failure if you want a workout that builds power and blitzes your whole body in 10 minutes or less.

Either way, this routine is great for breaking out of the normal plane of motion most people are used to training in. Traditional exercises like chest presses, forward lunges, and curls have your limbs moving forward and back, but this workout gets them moving side to side and with rotation, which adds a real-world, athletic component to your training while still activating plenty of muscle—including, of course, the core musculature, which helps transfer power from the lower body to the upper.

Dynamic Core Warmup

Perform the exercises as a circuit, completing one set for each in sequence. Rest as little as possible between sets, and repeat for 3 total rounds.

1. Rotational Ball Slam to Toss

Reps: 5 (each side)

Step 1. Stand a few feet away from a wall (preferably one that is padded, to protect it), and turn 90 degrees so that your left side faces the wall. Hold a light medicine ball with both hands and stand with feet outside shoulder width. Raise the ball to your right side and overhead in a circular motion, and throw it down to the floor as hard as you can. Allow your body to pivot toward your left so you can throw the ball with maximum power.

Step 2. Catch the ball as it rebounds from the floor, and take a step forward. Twist your torso to the right to coil your body for another throw, allowing your knees to bend.

Step 3. Throw the ball into the wall and catch it on the rebound again. Shuffle your feet away from the wall to set up for your next rep. (Both throws equal one rep on that side.)

2. Lateral Lunge Clean to Twist Press

Reps: 6–10 (each side)

Step 1. Clean the kettlebell from the floor (see our tutorial on how to clean a kettlebell in our Top 6 Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners article) and step to that same side, lowering your body into a lateral lunge. Your lead leg should be bent 90 degrees and your trailing leg straight.

Step 2. Come out of the lunge, and rotate your body to the opposite side as you press the kettlebell overhead. Allow your feet to pivot as you turn your torso 90 degrees.

3. Star Crunch

Reps: 20

Step 1. Lie on your back on the floor and flatten your lower back into the floor. Extend your arms and legs.

Step 2. Perform a crunch, raising your torso until your shoulder blades are off the floor. Bend your elbows and knees as you crunch, bringing them to meet in the top position.

Get another warmup (this time for upper body) in our article Shoulder Mobility for Strength and Injury Prevention.

Onnit Academy is the most comprehensive database of information related to Unconventional Training, a unique new form of fitness methodology that focuses on functional strength, conditioning, and agility using the most efficient means and tools possible. The online database includes articles, videos, tutorials, and workouts featuring alternative implements like kettlebells, sandbags, steel maces, steel clubs, battle ropes, and more.
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