The Best Core Workout to Build a Strong Racing Foundation

The Best Core Workout to Build a Strong Racing Foundation

You're nothing without your core. Your core muscles — including everything from your transverse and rectus abdominis and internal and external obliques to your erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, and latissimus dorsi — are basically responsible for keeping you standing straight up and keeping your spine controlled (not to mention allowing you to push, pull, hinge, squat, and perform all of the other essential training movements that a Spartan race requires).

Related: How to Do 8 Core Strengthening Exercises to Crush Spartan Obstacles

For this reason, at least one core workout should be a crucial part of your weekly training regimen. We've compiled seven days of workouts designed to activate the core and build a strong foundation so you can lift heavier, move faster, and be more coordinated and stable overall.

Let's get to it.

7 Days of Core Workouts to Prepare You for Spartan Racing

Day 1

Dynamic Warm-Up: Complete 1 set of the moves below.

  • 10-yard straight-leg march
  • 10-yard straight-leg skip
  • 10-yard carioca with high knee
  • 10-yard lateral skip
  • 10-yard high-knee run

Strength: Complete 3 sets of each circuit with a brief rest in between.

Circuit 1:

  • 8 reps (each side) single-leg hip lift on each side 
  • 15 bodyweight squats
  • 12 push-ups

Circuit 2:

  • 8 reps (each side) chop/lift 
  • 12 palm body saws with push-up
  • 10 (each side) reverse lunge jumps
  • 12 goblet squats 

Day 2

Active Stretching Warm-Up: Complete 1 set of the moves below.

  • 10 reps wrist rock back
  • 8 reps (each side) half-kneeling hip adductor rock
  • 8 reps (each side) supine knee extension
  • 8 reps (each side) 90s active stretch
  • 8 reps (each side) prone lat active stretch

Power and Strength: Complete 3 sets of each circuit with a brief rest in between.

Circuit 1:

  • 8 (each side) kettlebell single-leg deadlifts
  • 12 weighted hip lifts
  • 12 squat to rows

Circuit 2:

  • 10-yard lateral gorilla
  • 8 reps (each side) strength band shoulder press
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10-yard heavy medicine ball carry

Day 3

Joint-Stabilizing Warm-Up: Complete 1 set of the moves below.

  • 12 standing cobras
  • 8 reps (each side) quadruped hip extension
  • 45-second active plank
  • 8 reps (each side) band pull-apart series
  • 8 reps (each side) standing hip flexion with mini-band

SAQ and Endurance (Tabata): Complete each circuit below for the number of sets and reps. 

  • 30 seconds of activity/30 seconds rest: lateral line jumps
  • 30 seconds of activity/30 seconds rest: lateral bound with stick
  • 30 seconds of activity/30 seconds rest: hurdle jump
  • 6 reps (each side) split squat to face pull 
  • 6 reps (each side) single-leg squat to box jump
  • 12 strength band push-ups
  • 12 body saw to pikes

Day 4

Active Stretching: 

  • 2 sets of 10 self-myofascial release deep breaths
  • 30 seconds (each side) prone lat stretch
  • 30-second wall hamstring stretch
  • 30-second wall adductor stretch
  • 30 seconds (each side) wall hip rotator stretch
  • 8 reps (each side) Spiderman t-spine rotation
  • 10-yard farmer walk
  • 10-yard bear crawl 

Day 5

Dynamic Warm-Up: Complete 1 set of the moves below.

  • 8 reps (each side) reverse lunge to knee extension
  • 12 toe touch to squats
  • 8 reps (each side) lateral lunge
  • 8 reps (each side) rotational lunge
  • 8 reps (each side) forward lunge

Strength: Complete 3 sets of each circuit with a brief rest in between.

Circuit 1:

  • 6 reps (each side) kettlebell-racked step-up
  • 6 reps (each side) kettlebell-racked lateral lunge
  • 8 reps (each side) ISO bear hold with sand bag drag-through

Circuit 2:

  • 30 seconds of activity/30 seconds rest: jump rope
  • 30 seconds of activity/30 seconds rest: kettlebell swing
  • 30 seconds of activity/30 seconds rest: airbike sprint
  • 30 seconds of activity/30 seconds rest: pull-up

Day 6

Static Stretching Warm-Up: Complete 1 set of the moves below.

  • 30 seconds (each side): split-stance pec static stretch
  • 30 seconds (each side): strength band lat static stretch
  • 30 seconds (each side): standing TFL static stretch
  • 30 seconds (each side): standing adductor static stretch
  • 30 seconds (each side): standing hamstring static stretch 

Endurance (Tabata): Complete each circuit below for the number of sets and reps indicated with a brief rest in between.

Circuit 1:

  • 20 seconds of activity/20 seconds rest: sprint
  • 20 seconds of activity/20 seconds: burpees
  • 20 seconds of activity/20 seconds: alternating lateral lunge jump

Circuit 2:

  • 20 seconds of activity/20 seconds rest: hinge jump
  • 20 seconds of activity/20 seconds rest: seal jack
  • 20 seconds of activity/20 seconds rest: battle rope

Day 7

Active Recovery

  • 2 sets of 10 self-myofascial release deep breaths
  • 2 sets of 8 inchworms
  • 2 sets of 10-yard straight-leg marches
  • 2 sets of 10 reps (each side) lateral leg swings
  • 2 sets of 8 reps (each side) Spiderman t-spine rotations
  • 2 sets of 8 reps (each side) single-leg deadlift with reach
  • 5-minute Airbike (slow to moderate pace)

Upcoming Spartan Race Schedule