Jen Rulon

When people think about “core,” they will automatically think of sit ups but also think of rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques but there is SO much more to core then 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 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 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 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 not only more anterior but also my posterior chain!

Today, I want to share with you my NEW found “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 actually to engage your abs during exercise. Many people will perform ab exercises, but won’t actually be training their abs so much as their hips. The hip flexors can perform 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 really not helping that wanted 6 pack. I have said it numerous times to athletes: “If you want a 6 pack, you need to start in the kitchen.” I wanted to acknowledge the elephant in the room: Eating like SH$% will not help your 6 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 strong for that flip turn, aero position on the bike and maintaining our form on the run.

PS. Let me know if you are looking to see some videos or photos of the exercises from above. If so, I will put those exercises together via a video for you!

Interested in my book, “Rulon Rules: Strength Training & the Triathlete?”





AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I am Jen Rulon, a Coach, Kona Finisher and a Public Speaker. I’ve been coaching triathletes for 18+ years and I received my Masters in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. I train triathletes to reach their potential and coach triathlon coaches to successfully grow their businesses using my own proven methods. My knowledge has been featured in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Men’s Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach — I’m a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii on October 14, 2017.

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