Champion Core Series Level 1.5!?

Level 1.5!? But Travis, what happened to Level 2!?

Well slow down turbo and I’ll explain what I’m doing here. Its simple, I don’t want to overwhelm some people. I could on a jump straight to level 2 core work, which would be some starting point, but I want to make sure that you take the time to learn the basics before you try core my annihilators 😉

***Just wait till you see my annihilators, promise its some of the craziest core exercises you’ve seen***

Remember you can’t run the Olympics if you can’t run jr. high track first.

There are two exercises that I need to focus on with you today so that you can continue to get maximal benefit from this progression.

The Crunch

I can’t tell you how many people I see do this incorrectly. I’m sure that you think it just about flopping on the ground and lifting yourself up and forward… but has it worked yet and if you reading this far then I’m assuming for most of you not to the degree that you want.

A number of gym goers make the mistake of lifting your upper torso up and FORWARD towards your pelvis, I mean it does make sense if you were to think about it. To flex a muscle you want to make the two ends come together, but that isn’t the case with the crunch.

Here is the Rowlett Fitness Revolution way of doing this exercise.

Starting position of a crunch

Ending position of a crunch











One key thing that I want you to notice about this pic is that the chest is NOT going forward, instead its going STRAIGHT UP.

What I want you to do is to pretend that there is a string attached to your chest and that string is attached to a balloon, that balloon is going to lift you STRAIGHT UP (its not windy in here so it will not go forward). I promise that you’ll notice a completly different feel to your upper abs (since the movement is being initated from there) and don’t be surprised that if you get tired faster than a traditional cruch.

Without getting to nerdy over here, I’ve been told I do that lol, basically your keeping gravity at a constant throughout this motion. When you roll your torso forward what ends up happening is that you you lose gravity’s effect on the abdominal wall because your upper torso weight distributed elsewhere in the body and is no longer as potent on the abdominal wall attachment to the rib cage.


Cross Crunch

Starting position of a crunch

Ending position of a cross crunch











The big difference with this one is of course we are working the upper obliques.

Here is how I want you to think this exercise through, remember the balloon analogy that I used for the crunch? I want you to think of this exercise the same way except now we are going to have the balloon move your chest UP and ACROSS.  Don’t try to bring the elbow all the way to touch the knee, instead just move the opposite elbow to the opposite knee.

The main thing that I want you to take away from this exercise is to bring the chest UP and OVER, not forward.


Level 1 Ab Workout


Sample of a Level 1 Ab Workout


***I should note that this is a sample of Level 1 Ab workout, each Rowlett Fitness Revolution clients that need level 1 workouts will ALWAYS get one that is custom tailored to their participial body’s bio-mechanics.***

***You MUST keep the small of your back on the ground the ENTIRE time, especially in these leg raises!***


A little side note:

You may hear some other professorial trainers say things like spinal flexition is bad and the abs are just spinal and core stabilizers. There is a degree of truth there and I respect those trainers that preach this because its nice to know they have their opinions of their practice and preaching it. My personal physiology on core training is that I will train the abdominal wall to my clients needs and wants. If they want a sexy six pack we will train that way, but if they need strong core stabilization for MMA fights then our workouts progress to that manner.

The purpose of these workouts are to begin to teach you how to properly work the abdominal wall, you will progress to core stabilization with the upcoming levels.


Ok so I promise that level 2 workouts will be next!


Make sure that you have read my previous post:

Why you still don’t have abs

Awesome Ab Series Level 1


In Health and Fitness,




Travis Merritt, BS, CPT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.

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  1. […] this is very similar to a cross crunch except… duh we are on an incline lol. A few key […]

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