CrossFit Ab and Core Workouts

The cornerstone of any top CrossFit athlete is their core strength. Without it you can have all the speed in the world but are doomed to fail without a strong core. As the saying goes “Strong Core – Strong Body”.

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Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit describes 3 top ab exercises as the Glute Ham Developer (GHD) situp, hollow rock and L-sits.

Some of those exercises are found in the following workouts that are great ways to build your body. We get asked this question every week “What are the best CrossFit wod’s for abs?”. Of course most of the time you are doing a CrossFit workout (kettle bell swings, deadlifts, etc.) you are working your core.

But for those that want a little extra – read on.

WOD #1

3 rounds for time
run 800 meters
50 back extensions
50 situps

WOD #2

100 sit-ups for time

In the military you are tested often with 2 minutes max sit-ups.

Make sure you are using correct form—quality over quantity. Poor form leads to injury.

Question: I read that kettlebells help with core strength. Do you have any tips?

Answer: Yes; check out this article: CrossFit Kettlebell Workouts and Tips.

WOD #3

“Muhammad Ali”

““I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count. That’s what makes you a champion.” — Muhammad Ali

    • Begin your sit-ups
    • When your abs start hurting, begin counting
    • Go to failure
    • Rest 5 minutes
    • Repeat
    • Rest 5 minutes
    • Repeat

Answer: The Abmat is portable and easy to use at home. We have one in our garage gym and it works great and is hard to wear out. Check out the AbMat at

WOD #4

Four rounds:

      • 50 sit-ups
      • 25 2-count flutter kicks
      • 25 hollow rocks
      • 25 toes to bar (if you can’t do toes to bar, do knees to chest)
      • 50 burpees

This workout is great for building endurance and core strength.
Question: What is a good GHD that will not break my checking account?

Answer: We like the Yukon GHD machine for under $400. You will be able to do all the exercises you can on a $1k GHD without putting a hole in your wallet.

WOD #5

      • 25 sit-ups
      • Run 1/4 mile
      • 1 min plank hold
      • 25 leg lifts
      • Run 1/4 mile
      • 1 min plank hold
      • 25 2-ct flutter-kicks
      • 1 min plank hold
      • Run 1/4 mile
      • 25 hollow rocks
      • 1 min plank hold
      • Run 1/4 mile
      • Plank hold to failure

This workout will definitely set your abs on fire and build a strong core for future workouts.
Question: What is a good value chalk that I can use at my local box gym?

Answer: We like Ader Gym Chalk as you can pick up 8 blocks in bulk for about $15. This is about the cheapest deal you will find for good gym chalk. You can break it up into chunks and put it in a small plastic tub.

Video – Dead Lift and Burpee workout at CrossFit One World

Check out Rocktape Kinesiology Tape for CrossFit Athletes – HERE

WOD #6

EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute): 10 min


WOD #7

Four rounds:

      • Tabata sit-ups (20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds or rest)
      • Plank hold 1 min
      • Finish with toes to bar (or knees to chest) until failure


      • 50 deadlifts
      • 50 GHD sit-ups*
      • L-sit to failure
      • 50 deadlifts
      • 30 GHD sit-ups
      • L-sit to failure
      • 50 deadlifts
      • 20 GHD sit-ups
      • L-sit to failure
      • 50 deadlifts
      • 10 GHD sit-ups
      • L-sit to failure
      • Finish with plank hold to failure
      • If you don’t have a GHD available, you can substitute with an exercise ball (or sand ball), locking your toes under something firm (or a heavy dumbbell or barbell with weights

Questions from SGPT Athletes

Question: Is CrossFit good for abs?

Answer: Yes; it is good for burning fat and strengthening your core. Your body will look and feel better after month of regular workouts.

Question: Coach; how do I find the Greg Glassman article on CrossFit Core?

Answer: Read his tips here: CrossFit ab and core article.


3 Unusual Exercises to Work Your Core
What Are The Big 4 of Core Strength?
Tips to Improve Your Plank Hold Time and Build Your Core

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