Female working out in a gym
January 3, 2018

Mike Ricci


D3 Multisport: Core Strength Program, Part I
The following is my own personal core strength workout. It’s painful but it gets results. If you want to be ripped and generate more power in the pool and on the roads this workout is for you.Most of these exercises are done with the Fit Ball [FB] a.k.a. Swiss ball, big ball, or Physio-ball.

A. Days per week: 2-3 (max)
B. For beginners, I recommend doing one set of 5-15 reps.
C. I would start with Part I one day, Part II the next scheduled day etc.
D. After you accomplish C, you can move on to doing Parts I & II and then Parts I, II, & III in the same day.
E. Once you can accomplish D then you can add multiple sets.
F. Once you accomplish E, you can move to Core IV, V and VI.
G. Go easy – these can hurt you for a few days. 
H. Quality over quantity!

Exercise 1: Plank to Push-Up
Repetitions: 12-24Movement: Start in the plank position and move to the push-up position. Alternate arms each time. Work on keeping the hips even and not letting them drop. 

Exercise 2: Bicycles
Repetitions: 20-50Movement: Start by lying on your back. Alternate your right knee to left elbow, and vice versa. To increase the difficulty, you can increase the speed or really slow down the speed. One rep is one complete cycle of left elbow to right knee and right elbow to left knee. 

Exercise 3: Back extensions on the FB 
Repetitions: 12-15Movement: Start with feet firmly on the floor, and the stomach on the FB. Using your trunk, lift your upper body to parallel on the ball (watch for overextension).

Exercise 4: Plank with movement
Repetitions: 45 seconds (s) – 2 minutes (m)Movement: This is a tough one. You start out in a plank position with your elbows under you. Keep the elbows about 6” apart. Try to keep the shoulder blades together with no curve. Really flex your stomach region, you will feel this. Keep your back straight and your hips up. To make this even more challenging, try to keep moving your elbows out 2” every 15s or so. Another challenge would be to lift your leg off the ground behind you or out to the side as I demonstrate in the video. Your body should be shaking on this one. If not, then move your hips up a bit.

Exercise 5:  V-ups with FB
Repetitions: 10-15Movement: Start out lying down with your arms extended over you head. Place the ball in between your arms. Slowly bring your arms (fully extended still) and your legs up and together creating a ‘V’ with your body. Transfer the ball to between your legs (this takes a little coordination) and slowly bring your legs and arms back to the original starting position. Don’t get lazy and bring your arms up and not your legs or vice versa. Work on these! They will get easier.

Exercise 6: Push-ups with FB 
Repetitions: 10-15Movement: Start out with your shins on the FB and your arms in the push-up position. Try to do a few push-ups. Slowly walk your arms out (your feet should be fully extended on the FB ). Now try a few more. An advanced version would be performing the push-ups with your toes fully on the FB holding up your entire body. Even more advanced would be doing these with one leg.

Exercise 7: Medicine ball twists
Repetitions: 20-30Movement: Start out with your behind on the floor, and your knees bent in front of you (picture 1). Start with the ball on one side and using your torso, twist to the other side and put the ball on the ground (picture 2), and then return to the other side. This is one repetition. I like to break up by passing the ball under my legs in the middle of the set (picture 3). Pass the ball quickly and from hand-to-hand under your legs and over the top of your knees. Your feet remain off the floor at all times.

Exercise 8: Plank to Push-Up
Repetitions: 12-24Movement: Start in the plank position and move to the push-up position. Alternate arms each time. Work on keeping the hips even and not letting them drop. 

Michael Ricci is a USAT Level 3 Certified Coach and a USAT Coach of the Year. 

Coach Mike Ricci is the Founder and Head Coach for D3 Multisport.  His coaching style is ‘process-focused’ vs. ‘results-focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes, there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow.

Coach Mike is a USAT Level III Elite Certified Coach, Ironman University Certified Coach, and Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach. He was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year.

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