Aoife's Carlow Killer Core workout

For those who were at Aoife Fays' S+C workout in Carlow ( and for those who werent!) here is the routine/torture she put us through

This is a core stability circuit that includes a variety of strength exercises specifically aimed at triathletes key muscle groups) I have slightly altered the repetitions and number of seconds per exercise since last weekend. This circuit should ideally be ideally completed 2 times per week. Every 4 weeks I will post a new core stability circuit - this will include similar exercises - although it will be a progression from Level 1 (so try your best to include the Level 1 circuit 2 x per week for the next 4 weeks - this will ensure your body will be conditioned for the next progressive circuit!)

Core Stability Circuit Level 1

  1. Press-up 20/15/20

  2. Ab crunch  10/12/16

  3. Cross over lunges 8/10/10

  4. Spiderman pressup 15/10/15

  5. Pelvic pushes 10/12/12

  6. Standing squats 10/10/10

  7. Squat thrusts 15/15/15

  8. Portland situps 8/10/12

  9. Single leg squat 8/8/10

  10. Partner press-up 5-10

  11. V sit-ups 10/10/10

  12. alternate leg drive 10/15/10


1. Press-up : ELBOWS MUST TOUCH YOUR SIDE!! you must train your arms/elbows and brain to do this! - it takes ALOT of practice. if you find it too difficult originally - start with knees on the ground bent - this is SO MUCH MORE beneficial than doing press-ups with 'chicken wings'

2. Ab Crunch : DO NOT RETURN YOUR BACK TO THE GROUND. if you cannot do this - this is a warning your core muscles must be strengthened BIG TIME (overtime with correct repetition you will succeed in keeping your upper back/shoulders off the ground)

3. Cross-over lunge : lift knee up high before smoothly lunging forward - lunge deep - keep back straight - rotate torso to the side of your leading leg with hands together straight in front of you (can be done as a continuous exercise as in video - I prefer returning to original position)

4. Spider-Man Press-ups : place hands shoulder width apart - bring your knee forward to touch your elbow
link :

5. Pelvic pushes : palms flat on ground with no pressure - DO NOT USE HANDS TO 'PUSH' YOU UP - toes pointed - legs straight

6. Standing squat : arms crossed over chest - dig heels into the ground - look straight ahead - feet shoulder width apart (your knees go towards the direction your toes are facing) - do not allow knees to go over toes - slowly squat down - PUSH YOUR WEIGHT THROUGH YOUR HEELS ON THE WAY UP - SQUEEEEEEEZE YOUR GLUTES TOGETHER!!! and repeat.

7. Squat thrust : get into plank position - hands shoulder width apart - do not stick but up or bend your back - jump into 'tuck' position looking straight ahead - stand up tall - repeat

8. Portland sit-up : lie flat on back - lift shoulders/upper back off ground - one knee bent and one leg straight in front of you - 'slide' your arms up the leg that is straight - these are a much sloooower movement than the ab crunches - DO NOT RETURN YOUR BACK TO THE GROUND!!!

9. single leg squat : lean against a wall - squat using one leg - other leg out in front of you - BENDING KNEE MUST NOT ROTATE/BEND INWARDS OR OUTWARDS - keep everything in line

10. Partner press-up : one person in front of the other - both get in push -up position - one person put both feet on shoulders of partner - KEEP ELBOWS BY YOUR SIDE!!!
(if doing circuit alone do normal press-ups - KEEPING ELBOWS BY YOUR SIDE!!!!)

11. V sit-ups : lie flat on back - arms out straight behind head - legs out straight in front of you - tighten core muscles - raise arms and feet to meet in the centre of your torso - return to starting position and repeat

12. Alternative leg drive : begin in push-up position - 'drive' one knee forwards as far as possible towards arm- repeat with other knee - do these with power and control


(1) (an * beside a number means this exercise is to be done counting seconds - not reps) eg: *15 = do exercise for 15 seconds
15 = do exercise 15 times

(2) aim to do 3 rounds of the circuit
eg : 10 -15 - 12
round 1 = 10 reps
round 2 = 15 reps
round 3 = 12 reps

(3) 3 rounds should take approximately 45 minutes.

(4) 'Ab Specific' workout in next post - should take 15 minutes. Add this onto the core stability circuit to make a 1 hour conditioning circuit.

3 rounds of core stability circuit (3 x 15mins = 45 mins)
3 round sof 'ab specific' workout (3 x 5 mins = 15 mins)

= 60 minutes in total X (2 times per week)

(5) I have included several youtube video links to the more complex exercises - I have included a link to as many video demonstrations I could find that matched my exercises (apologise for not all - for some of the exercises I found it difficult to find a video that matched - please contact me if you have any queries in relation to these exercises!)

If anybody has ANY question - please fire away!! you can comment below/facebook messenger/ email :


If you're not sure what an exercise looks like, just do a search on Youtube.  If it looks difficult then its the right one