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2 Unique Core Training Exercises from Martin Rooney

Next in the series of lost Rooney footage are two core exercises Martin dropped on us during the trip.  If you remember the first article, I showed you 3 push-up variations that were guaranteed to crush and annihilate your upper body.  Now, Rooney’s new core exercises are threatening to do the same to your midsection – but in a unique way.

It goes without saying that core strength and stability are important for all movement.  The core is active all of the time and our ability to move with control is a statement on our durability.  Martin trains a lot of fighters and these are some of his favorite “go-to” exercises that he incorporates into his hurricane training.

First up is

Cross Crunches

Suggested Volume: 3-5 sets x 10 reps each side

Many fit pros frown on crunch variations because they promote a depression of the rib cage and potentially alter posture and breathing patterns.  They also state that the lumbar is subjected to repeated bouts of flexion, which can definitely be problematic for some.  I believe that if your external obliques are up to par, you have good movement (mobility) in the upper back, and you train and rely on deeper breathing for stability, integration of various crunches isn’t that bad.  Also, if you notice the position of Martin’s lumbar region, it is fixed to the ground and the movement is coming from his upper thoracic.  Also, you’ll notice something else unique in Martin’s cross crunch variation.  He fully extends his leg between each rep which takes the intensity up 100x and make the contraction very powerful.

Alternating Plank Crunch (with Push-up)

Suggested Volume: 3-4 sets x 10 reps each side

Much like push-ups are a statement of full body stability and ‘operating as a single unit’, planks offer a global approach to core stability and increased time under tension (or TuT).  With this movement I would focus on keeping the back straight from the head=>torso=>hips and continue breathing behind the abdominal brace.  Your ability to do so and move unrestricted with your pelvis locked in place will be dependent upon your hip mobility and core stability.  As always, because we’re using our entire body, the exercise is very metabolic and your form will change as fatigue sets in.

Try out these variations and leave a comment with how you liked them.

For a complete bodyweight-only training system, check out Body Armor

For a complete core training system, check out the Hard:CORE system

By on November 12th, 2012


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