Jen Rulon

When people think about “core,” they will automatically think of sit-ups and work on the Rectus Abdominis, external and internal obliques, but there is SO much more to the core than those abs.

Today let me give you my “Rulon Rules” to Doing Core Work. And we will talk about the core as a whole, different options of core work, and some videos that may help you.

What muscles are we talking about when it comes to the core? Let’s talk about a few of the important ones:


  • Rectus abdominis
  • External Oblique
  • Internal Oblique
  • Transversus abdominis
  • Serratus Anterior


  • Erector Spinae
  • Quadratus lumborum

When you think of the “core,” I want you to think of your trunk. Take off your arms, legs, and head, and technically this is your core. You will see in the photo above that there is more than what I even talked about.

Recently, I have dealt with a back injury, and I have always gone with sit-ups, toes to bar, or knees to elbows, but since the back injury was a little bit more aggressive, I realize I need to do alternative movements for now. After working with Dr. JOHHNNNNYYY from Stratton Sport & Spine, I realized my new way of doing core work was crucial for my anterior and my posterior chain!

Today, I want to share with you my:

Rulon Rules to Core Work:

1. Sit-ups are not for everyone, as we are all in different movements of our lives. So what alternatives can you do for the anterior?

  1. Front Planks

  2. Side Planks

  3. Lying Leg Raises (Single leg is preferred if you are dealing with lower back issues)

  4. Dead Bugs (Alternating legs and arms)

  5. Hollow Rocks (See video below)

2. Let’s talk about the posterior part of our “core” and what exercises should be done:

  1. Hip Raises (Glute Bridge) with band
  2. Clam Shell with Band
  3. Superman
  4. Cobra
  5. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

3. Find out which of these exercises work for you! Remember, everyone is different.

4. Another thing to recognize is that you need to engage your abs during exercise. Many people will perform ab exercises but won’t be training their abs so much as their hips. The hip flexors can achieve a very similar job to the abs by folding the body in half, but of course, they don’t have quite the same visual appeal (if you ask most people).

5. Sorry, the burrito from Chipotle and the Hot Tamales (which I LOVE) are not helping that wanted six-pack. I have said it numerous times to athletes: “If you want a six-pack, you need to start in the kitchen.” However, I wanted to acknowledge the elephant in the room: Eating like SH$% will not help your six-pack. This is a WHOLE other blog, but I just wanted to throw this out to you all.

Here is an example of Hollow Rocks, one of the many core exercises that you can do:

My goal is for you all to think about what needs to be done for your core, anterior and posterior; as with triathletes, we need both to be vital for that flip turn, aero position on the bike, and maintaining our form on the run.

Interested in my book, “Rulon Rules: Strength Training & the Triathlete?” It is still on AMAZON for only $9.99, as I probably need to update it. 

Interested in a 15 week Strength Training Program? Click HERE to grab that immediately! 





AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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