Champion Core Series Level 3


I hope that everyone is starting to pick up a few things from the ab series that we have been doing!

These routines here are based on the exact same frame work that I use to build every clients core routine so don’t take these lightly because I promise when I send out levels 5 and 6 you have wished that you have taken the time to go through these.

With Level 3 Comes some new exercises:


Lying Bent Knee Raise (120 degrees):

Starting/End Position of 120degree leg raise

Mid-point of a 120 degree leg raise










The main points to take away:

  • This exercise is just like level 2 leg raise except that your legs are a bit straighter.
  • The small of your back is on the ground the ENTIRE time! Notice a trend here? 😉
  • Keep motion as controlled as possible. I don’t need you to go super slow but don’t let the legs just fall or drop down, if you do I can assure you that your lower back will come off the floor. Remember YOU control the weight, don’t let it control you


Lying Knee-ups

Starting/End Position of Knee-ups

Mid-point of Lying Knee-ups











This particular exercise is a bit deceiving in that the motion is very small, only about an inch or two but the amount of abdomal control and contraction thats required to complete it is very humbling to most gym goers.

  • Your going to first lay on your back and, as always, keep the small of your back on the ground for the starting position.
  • Make you you have a light knee bend (120 degrees just like the leg raise)
  • Then your going push your pelvis up toward the ceiling using your lower abs, your going to feel a strong contraction in the entire abdominal wall. You’ll have a small range of motion, about 1 or 2 inches
  • After you hit your peak in the hip/knee up you’ll want to slowly and with lots of control lower you pelvis back down.
  • ***One thing that you want to make sure you don’t do is let your legs come too far over your body, then your doing a reverse crunch. ***


Cross Crunch with Pelvic Rotation:


Starting/End Position of Cross Cruch

Mid-point of Cross Crunch











Now if you ever really look at a good set of obliques you’ll see that the muscle fibers do NOT run vertical, I mean that they originate at the rib cage and run at a DIAGONALLY downward. DIAGONALLY is the key word here. So that means that we need to work the muscle in a DIAGONAL range of motion. Hence why we started with a cross crunch.

The initial exercise that we used to hit the obliques in there line of attachments  was the cross crunch, the next step exercise is the cross crunch with your pelvis rotating towards you.

  • The big difference that you need to know in this exercise is that your starting with your legs laying (rotated) AWAY from what ever side you plan on cross crunching with.
  • As you begin your cross crunch your going to start pulling/rotating your pelvis TOWARDS the side you are crunching on. You’ll want to focus on pulling your pelvis with your LOWER OBLIQUES (think of what I call “the Calvin Klein muscles”
  • As always I want you to control the motion, don’t let it control you.

I know that this exercise is a bit advanced coming so quickly but that is the difference between Level 2 and Level 3…


Level 3 is typically where I see a lot of my clients stay at for about 4 weeks before we both feel comfortable that they are ready for the next level.

Really spend the time to master the Knee-ups and Cross Crunch with Rotation, I promise you that if you do you WILL see much more improvement in your abdominal development.


 The workout:


Level 3 Core Routine



A quick side not: Make sure to do that core test in that I had in the first ab article periodically to measure your progress with these exercise. You should begin to notice that if you at level 3 you should almost  be able to do a full leg raise while keeping your back flat. 


In case you have not the first blogs check them out! 

Why you don’t have Abs

Champion Core Series Level 1

Champion Core Series Level 1.5!?

Champion Core Series Level 2


In Health and Fitness,




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

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