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If you are trying to get stage ready or your goal is to simply look beach ready, having a well-developed core is important. Not only does it complete your bodies overall appearance, but it is also important for athletic performance.

After the countless years of doing traditional crunches and sit-ups I have been frustrated with the lack of visible results. The reason being is that those exercises only target the rectus abdominals, while neglecting the transverse abdominals, which are the horizontal fibers that make of the abdominal muscles. Targeting your transverse abdominals will actually make your core smaller and tighter.

If your goal is to strengthen and burn fat around your abdominals, obliques, lower back than I suggest doing my core workout at least once a week. Combine this training program with HIIT and a clean diet for best results.

1. SLEDGE HAMMER OVERHEAD STRKES: To perform grab the sledge hammer with your left hand on the bottom and your right hand near the hammer. There is no exact best distance, just what feels right. Raise the sledge hammer above your head and over your right shoulder, and then bring it down toward the center of the tire, similar to chopping wood. Switch sides after 20reps x 3sets.

2. RUNNING PLANKS: Perform the plank face down on a mat with your feet together. Lift your hips off the ground and support your body weight on your forearms and toes maintain a neutral spine and a tight core. Hold the position for 30 seconds x 4 sets.

3. DEADLIFT: Stand with the bar above the center of your feet – your stance should be a bit more narrow than shoulder-width to give your arms room. Grab the bar overhand , bend through your knees until your shins hit the bar which must remain above the middle of your feet. Shoulder-blades directly over the bar. Pull – keep the bar close to your body, roll it over your knees and thighs until your hips and knees are locked.  10-15 reps x 4 sets.

4. HANGING LEG RAISES: Grab a bar and just hang, Flex your abs and lats, slowly  raise your feet up to the bar, remember to keep your legs straight 20 reps x 4 sets.

5. BATTLE ROPE WAVES: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, your knees and hips slightly bent and your core “locked in.” Grip the ends of the rope in both hands, allowing your arms to hang straight down at the center of your torso. Lower yourself  into a half-squat, In a single movement, explode your body upward, extending your knees and hips as you swing your arms up over your head. Immediately return to start and continue the movement for the full 30 seconds/30 rest x 4 sets.

6. RUSSIAN TWISTS: You begin the exercise by sitting on the floor with both legs bent and feet on the ground. Place your hands before you in the air in one line with your shoulders. Either hold them out straight or grab a weight between them. Lower your upper body back until your back is at a 45 degree angle to the floor. Now, rotate your arms from side to side, twisting your upper body. Make sure to not lift or move your feet. 15 reps x 4 sets.

7. BOX  JUMPS: Stand in an athletic position, with your feet shoulder-width apart, at a comfortable distance from the box. When you’re ready to jump, drop quickly into a quarter squat, then extend your hips, swing your arms, and push your feet through the floor to propel yourself onto the box. 20 reps x 4 sets.

8. TWO HAND KETTLE BELL SWING: Stand up straight, with feet a bit wider than hip-distance apart. Grab hold of the handle with both hands, keeping the palms face down and arms in front of the body. Maintain a slight bend to the knee and drive the hips back, lowering the body — but not too low, this isn’t a squat! Then, in a fluid motion, explosively drive the hips forward while swinging the kettlebell, keeping the glutes and core engaged.

9.  KNEELING VACUUM: Kneel on the floor and sit back with your buttocks on your heels. Place your hands on the sides of your legs, Pull your shoulders back then pull your abs in as if trying to touch your belly button to your spine. Hold the vacuum for 20 or more seconds, then hold the contraction for 1 to 2 seconds, alternating contractions and releases do this for a minute total.

10. JUMPING BURPEE: Start standing with your feet together. Bend at the knees and waist and place the palms of your hands on the ground. Kick your feet backwards so that you are in a plank position. Kick your feet back in, stand back up, and immediately jump in the air. Land on your feet. 15 reps for 4 sets.

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