Core Circuit Training

by Nick Ng

About Nick Ng

Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.


Circuit training involves performing a series of exercises that trains different movement patterns without rest between exercises. The core refers to the center of your body which is the source of your strength, power, balance and stability. It includes your abdominal, back, hip and upper leg muscles; the central nervous system; and connective tissues that hold your organs in place.


Core training is not just training your abdominal muscles. It's about being able to control movement in various directions and at different speeds while maintaining your balance and center of gravity without injury. Traditional abdominal exercises, like sit-ups and crunches, isolate only one muscle group, move in one direction and do not require good posture to perform. However, you may incorporate such exercises with the core circuit training as long as they are not trained exclusively.

Medicine Ball Front Chop

Hold a 6-lb. medicine ball over your head, and stand about hip-width or shoulder-width apart with your feet pointing forward. Exhale and swing the ball down between your legs, bending your legs and your torso forward at your waist. Do not round your back. Push your hips forward to swing your torso up and the ball above your head. Perform 10 to 20 swings in a fast and controlled manner for three sets.

Medicine Ball Figure-8

Hold a 6-lb. medicine ball over your left shoulder, and step forward with your right leg with both feet pointing forward. Swing the ball down and across your body toward your right hip. Bring the ball up over your right shoulder, and swing it down across your body toward your left hip. Keep your body upright and with very little rotation as you move. Perform the swings for 30 seconds, switch leg positions and perform another 30 seconds of swings.

Overhead Squats

Raise both arms above your head, and stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart. Squat down as low as you can while keeping your torso upright and your arms above your head. Keep your knees and feet pointing forward. Brace your abdominal muscles, and stand back up.

Circuit Training Pattern

Perform exercises for 30 seconds each with rest between exercises. When you have completed one circuit, rest for 30 seconds and perform the circuit two to three more times.

References (2)

  • Movement; Gray Cook
  • Athletic Development; Vern Gambetta

Photo Credits:

  • Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or