Build Up Your Abs With This Core Thrashing Circuit

A Killer Circuit Workout To Smoke Your Abs

How To Build Your Abs Using A Core Circuit.

If your training goals consist of building solid slabs of muscle while chiseling away at unwanted body fat in the process, the use of high intensity bouts of conditioning needs to be an absolute cornerstone in your aesthetics programming. This is especially true for tightening your core. In this article, we will showcase a core circuit workout and conditioning methods to build abs.

While there are too many types of conditioning routines circulating the industry to keep track of, one attribute that many lack is intensity.  Want to get the most out of your conditioning?  Try getting after it when your body and mind are close to the point of absolute exhaustion at the tail end of a training session.  This is where real gains are made, and the real athletes are separated from the soft pretenders.

Not only will maximally exerted conditioning sessions skyrocket your metabolic rate, they will help you achieve a higher level of testicular fortitude in the process, building a foundation of pride and accomplishment that follows you through whatever path you choose to follow.


There is no doubt that the traditional farmers carry is a great way to teach and develop proper shoulder and trunk alignment under some heavy ass loads that require concentrated effort to move, let alone execute with pristine form.  While the staple carry will always have its place in conditioning programming, slight variations of the loaded carry can help emphasize a movement pattern of muscle group being trained through the addition of direct and muscle specific conditioning.

If you want to be absolutely sure to thrash your shoulders, core and hips simultaneously while squeezing every available ounce energy out of your body, putting the final nail in your training day coffin, the cross body carry (CBC) is a powerful variation of the loaded carry.

Performing the cross body carry paired with the static push up hold has the ability to generate a huge amount of metabolic stress through the shoulders and core, while increasing your heart rate and exertion to near maximal levels.

One arm, one leg dumbbell row


Executing the cross body carry followed by a violently tensioned static push up hold at the tail end of your upper body emphasized training days will leave your shoulders trembling, your core on fire, and your eyes searching for the nearest garbage can in case your lunch is coming out for an encore appearance.

To see what you’re really made of, start with a superset minimize rest periods while using near-maximal loads for the given time intervals.  A good starting weight will be holding 75% of your body weight in the bottom hand and 50% in the hand positioned overhead.  If this six-minute addition to your upper body-training day doesn’t leave you on the ground in sheer exhaustion by the last round, buck up and go heavier next session.

kettlebell exercises to build muscle



  • Choose loads that are near maximal while still keeping your spine and shoulders in a neutral position at all times.
  • Use a slightly heavier load in the bottom hand- Challenge yourself!  Start off with a load of 75% of your bodyweight in your bottom hand and 50% in your hand positioned overhead.
  • Assume a slow and steady walking speed that can be maintained throughout the set.
  • Shorten your stride length. Think one foot directly in front of the other keeping your feet well under your center of gravity.
  • Alternate the left and right hand positions for each kettlebell set you complete. Do not switch your hand positions mid set while you are on the clock!




  • Start in quadruped position and activate your core by maximally squeezing your abdominal wall and upper extremities.
  • Prep your shoulders by stabilizing your shoulder blades down and back, externally rotating the shoulder joint.
  • One leg at a time, step back and place feet at shoulder width apart while squeezing your body as hard as you possibly can to maximize full body tension.
  • Hold maximal tension in your glutes, core and shoulders simultaneously.
  • Maintain maximal tension for the duration of the hold, and remember, if you aren’t shaking you aren’t really generating that much tension


This conditioning superset is ideal for a tag on for any upper body emphasized training day.  If you feel like you have a little fuel left to burn before shooting down that protein shake smoothie of yours, grab some kettlebells and get after it.  The first time through, use the programming parameters below.  From there, it’s in your hands!  Get as crazy as your body, or mind, will allow!

1A KB CROSS BODY CARRY 6 sets / 20 seconds / 10 seconds rest

1B PUSH-UP ISO-HOLD 6 sets / 20 seconds / 10 seconds rest

*Note that for the CBC, each set will alternate arms in the up and down position. Ex. set 1 right arm up, left arm down to the side, set 2 left arm up, right arm down to the side.

Dr. John Rusin is not your run-of-the-mill physical therapist. His innovative vision and knowledge brings together high-performance strength and hypertrophy programming with cutting-edge, pain-free training methodology. With more than a decade of elite level training experience and advanced degrees in both exercise science and physical therapy, Dr. Rusin develops performance, regeneration, and aesthetics programs for some of the world’s best power athletes, NFL and MLB athletes, Gold-Medal Olympians, competitive powerlifters and bodybuilders.