Abs & Core Bodyweight Exercise Bodyweight TV

Wring Out Those Abs!

Written by Ryan Murdock

You’ve made it this far. It’s time to attempt the final stage in our three part multi-dimensional core series…

You mastered the lower body component of this movement in the first installment — the Arching Leg Thread — where we worked on your ability to recruit your core in a twisting motion while threading the legs through.

The second installment — the Lateral Shoulder Roll — taught you to transition sideways through the plow position. You worked on it until you could enter and exit seamlessly, while moving more or less in a straight line down the mats.

Now we’ll put them together into the grand finale: a move so cool your friends may faint from the sheer force of envy. It’s called the Twisting Spinal Arch, and it requires you to contort under yourself, moving from shoulder bridge to plow in a smooth, flowing sequence.

It’ll put your core through the wringer and develop the sort of multi-dimensional strength that circus performers use to pull off those cool floor moves. But don’t be alarmed! Anyone can do this if you just take the time to work through the steps and build it incrementally.

I want you to focus on two things.

First, the exhale. You’re going to have to exhale hard to bring your head around and under. If you’re holding a big ball of air in your chest, you simply won’t have the range of motion to accomplish the movement. A hard exhalation will also fire your core and cause those muscles to activate. Focus on the exhalation, and let that drive the movement.

Second, keeping both feet in contact with the ground. If your feet lose contact, you’ll flop over and fall out of the movement. It’s essential that you mastered the leg thread in the previous two exercises so you will already have built the motor pattern for this component. Fire your core to pull the head down and feet around, and let the movement be driven from your centre.

These are your key performance goals.

Here’s your Twisting Spinal Arch tutorial:

So that’s it! The full multidimensional core strength series. I hope you enjoyed these movements, and I hope you amazed your friends and family with that last one. It’s pretty cool to see the look in their eyes when you whip that one out at a party. And even cooler when you can teach them to do it in a few simple steps.

Have fun with it, and let us know how you did in the comments.

Want more Ninja Core Secrets?

About the author

Ryan Murdock


  • So, what does the photo at the top of the post have to do with the article? Well, Ryan’s got a thing for Asian girls. And that’s about it… 🙂

  • Hey Ryan, great move! I read your blog quite a bit and thought I’d finally make a comment. I’m a trainer as well and just wanted to tell you and your brother that I really enjoy your blog and I have actually learned quite a few moves from you guys. I run a fitness boot camp and so I am always looking for new body weight exercises to use and you guys just have this whole bodyweight thing nailed, I really enjoy things such as Martial Arts, Yoga, Running and other body weight exercises and have always used those things as the core of the workouts I teach my clients. I just wish I would have thought of “BodyWeightCoach.com” first! LOL

    Keep up the great work and you can expect to have me as a loyal reader!


  • Sweet move, Ryan. And a darn good tutorial (you CST geeks have it nailed down tight!), I was able to float through it more coherently. And someone who has had a pretty dedicated yoga class practice this year, these movements move your whole body mindfully and comprehensively through a myriad of beneficial poses.

  • Ryan, great stuff as usual. Can you explain how this move (and similar ones you’ve explained on this site) incorporate into the BER/4×7 programs? I want to start to incorporate these in but I don’t want to disturb the “magic” of the 4×7! Would these be done, for example, as skill development prior to a Moderate Intensity day session?

    Any help/thoughts would be greatly appreciate. And thanks!

    • Mischa,

      If you don’t “own” the skill yet, then yes, practice it on your moderate day after your warmup but before your training session. If you’ve got the skill down and can do it for volume, you can swap the Twisting Spinal Arch for spinal rocks, v-ups, or other ab specific movements in our programs.

  • Interesting and challenging content as always!

    One question though, youtube, despite all it’s pros, is it possible for you guys to also publish a downloadable version of the videos?

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