Strengthen Your Core And Get Great Abs Faster By Adding
This One Movement Pattern To your Training Routine
By David Grisaffi
There’s one simple movement pattern that is sorely
lacking in most people’s abdominal training routines. By
adding this one movement, you will also increase your
chances of getting a great set of six pack set abs and a
tighter, slimmer waistline. Adding this simple movement
to your routine will also strengthen your core, increase
your overall body strength and help prevent lower back
This simple movement that will provide you will all
these great benefits is rotation in transverse movement
patterns. Huh? What the h eck does that mean? Don’t
worry, I’m going to explain in simple terms with a quick
anatomy lesson and then move on to the exact exercises.
There are four major muscles that make up your abdominal
core: rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal
obliques, and the transverse abdominis. These muscles
work together to flex and rotate the spine and to
compress the abdomen. Since most movements involve more
than one muscle, your workouts should try to train all
these muscles in isolation and combination.
The rectus abdominis is the most prominent abdominal
muscle. It is either the “pot belly” or the long
segmented muscle that runs up and down the front of the
torso. When it is fully developed it is the muscle where
you see the six pack of abs, or in some cases an eight
pack. It is the primary muscle involved in any 9 Csit-up”
type or flexion exercise.
This muscle is often considered one continuous
muscle, however is does have separate nerve intervention
and you do have “upper and lower abs.” What often
happens is one section stabilizes while one performs the
The external obliques run down your eight lower ribs to
your hips and act as rotators along with the internal
obliques. The internal obliques run in the opposite
direction as the externals, but are just underneath
They will not be visible when
developed, but they are very important for core
The transverse abd ominis is the only one of the four
that does not cause or affect trunk movement. It is
important in holding your abdominal wall tight. You
could say it’s the “suck in your gut” muscle if you
will. It is also important in that it pulls on the
diaphragm to force you to breath out.
Hopefully, a fuller understanding of these four core
muscles will help you to appreciate the need for
rotation in transverse movement in your ab workout and
their roles in obtaining a six pack of abs. They are
also important for power and optimum sports performance.
Baseball, football, tennis, and golf depend on the power
generated from these abdominal and core muscles. It is
hard to find a good college or professional athlete that
does not have a great looking six pack of abs.
Typically, these muscles have been trained using
crunches, reverse crunches or other flexi on exercises.
Those types of exercises are only half of the battle, at
Both of theses exercises isolate a section of the Rectus
abdominis, but normally ignore the obliques and
transverse abdominis. That is why it is so important to
integrate transverse movement patterns into your
abdominal workouts. It is important, also, to have these
muscles fully lengthen before contracting while they are
performing. A muscle will contract more forcefully and
efficiently if it is allowed to fully lengthen.
Effective training of the abdominals, in pursuit of a
six pack of abs, does not require one exercise alone.
Effective abdominal must should incorporate many of the
larger transverse movement patterns, and position the
performer in multiple starting stances. All exercises
should allow for complete lengthening and shortening of
the muscles. T his is called the “pre-load and unload”
cycle. If you make correct use of the “pre-load and
unload” cycle you will get a more forceful and efficient
motion from your abdominal muscles.
Now that we have gone over the “why's” let's look into
the “how's”. I am going to walk you through 3 different
exercises that will give you the optimum training effect
I’m talking about here.
Exercise #1: Standing or Sitting Horizontal Woodchopper
Start in the standing position with your feet flat and
in a good athletic stance. Grasp a dumbbell with your
right hand and ove rlap your left so you have both hands
on the dumbbell. Raise your arms with the dumbbell so
they are parallel to the floor out in front of your face
at shoulder height.
Slowly begin to rotate the dumbbell to your right until
you can not longer rotate at your core or trunk level.
Do not rotate your shoulders. This exercise comes from
the core. Slowly return to the starting position and
then proceed to rotate to the left.
This will complete one repetition. Try to do 3 sets of
15-20 repetitions. Do not sacrifice your form for
additional weight. Less is more!
Exercise #2: Russian Twist Knees Bent
This is a simple exercise and stretch. By bending the
knees, the level is shorter and the amount of weight is
less then the full version with your legs straight
pointing towards the ceiling. This exercise uses your
obliques in a transverse plan movement.
Lie on the floor on a comfortable surface
Raise you legs so that your knees are pointing toward
the ceiling. Place your arms at 90 degrees to your body
with your palms down. This keeps your upper body still.
Gently lower your legs to the floor on one side keeping
them at a 90 degree angle to the trunk. Return legs to
the upright position.
Repeat to the opposite side. This is one repetition.
Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
You can also use a Swiss ball under your calves and
performing the exercise in the same manner. You could
also place a light medicine ball between your knees to
add some resistance.
Exercise #3: Reverse Woodchopper
This can be done standing or sitting using a dumbbell,
Swiss ball or a cable system. This wil l depend on your
experience and goals. Use proper form while doing all
exercises and remember less is more sometimes.
The wood chopper series is one of the best ways for
integrating the oblique musculature into a functional
Think of this movement as someone baling hay.
I will describe this exercise using a cable system, but
again this can be done using a dumbbell or Swiss ball.
Standing perpendicular to the weight stack and cable
system in an athletic stance.
Use the bottom pulley or if you are using an adjustable
cable system set the pulley at the bottom position.
Grasp the handle with your right hand and put left hand
over your right.
Draw your belly button in to your spine to add stability
to your core.
Gently rotate your torso and pull the cable handle up
and across the front of your chest.
To a fully extended arm position on the opposite side of
you body above your head.
Keep you arms straight from start to finish.
Return to the starting position. Repeat for prescribed
Do this exercise for 3 sets of 12 -15 reps
These are three very basic exercises that have multiple
variations that can incorporate rotation in transverse
movement to achieve a six pack of abs. Always make sure
you do a full amount of exercises to keep the core
active and firm. Rotate your shoulders towards the
knees, in an alternating pattern as you do your
crunches. This will help to insure that the obliques are
Isometric exercises can be done that will strengthen the
transverse abdominis. I call this the TV tummy tuck and
it can be done while sitting or on your hands and knees.
But if you are in your car or at work you do these. Suck
in your gut and tighten your abdominals. Hold for 10
seconds then slowly release. Repeat and increase your
hold time as you get used to the exercise. In the gym do
an exercise called the “plank”. Lift your body of f of
the ground on your elbows and toes. Contract your abs
and relax your shoulders and neck. Remember to breath
and hold as long as possible.
The abdominal region is best developed by rotating the
motion along you transverse plane. Resistance across
your center of gravity is a good for your entire core.
This forces all four of the abdominal muscle groups to
work and perform together. This rotation in transverse
movement allows for your six pack of abs to develop and
the obliques to show up as a beautiful frame for them.
These 3 exercises will get you started on the right
foot. If you’d like to learn more, you’ll find over 40
exercises in my Firm and Flatten Your Abs Program at.
Coach David Grisaffi.
David Grisaffi has been a sports enthusiast his entire life. He participated in football, basketball, wrestling, swimming, tennis, and baseball, and excelled at wrestling. His love for sports led him into a career in sports conditioning and fitness training.
David majored in physical education and holds multiple certifications including three from the prestigious CHEK Institute: Level II high Performance Exercise Kinesiologist, Golf Biomechanic,
and health and lifestyle counselor.
He also holds certifications from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
as a personal trainer and specialist in performance
David has been a high school wrestling and baseball coach and is currently an independent trainer and strength coach. He has been sought after by some of the top athletes in professional sports including world champion boxer Greg Haugen and professional golfer Michael Putnam.
David’s ebook, Firm And Flatten Your Abs
is an online best seller which teaches you how to lose body fat, develop “six pack abs’ while improving strength, function and athletic power at the same time. You can contact David or learn more about his programs at www.FlattenYourAbs.net