3 Core Exercises for SOF operators

Arlo Gagestein

Workouts and exercises for military athletes and SOF operators

Special Operations Forces operators are warriors and they are uncommon men. Uncommon men need uncommon training. Here are 3 core exercises for SOF operators that will set you apart from the millions of ordinary people relying on sit-ups and crunches to train their core. This set of exercises are suitable for military personnel and special forces operators and civilians too.

Military fitness in the Covid-19 situation has gained increased popularity worldwide because of its efficiency and ability to do a lot of exercises at home or anywhere.

The Plank Pull

Attach a 1 to 2-inch superband to a post, squat rack, or other immovable objects. Begin in a solid plank position with slight tension on the band while holding it with one arm extended in front of your head. The wider your feet are, the easier it will be, so start with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your abs as if absorbing a punch. Don’t allow your lower back to sag, or your hips to rotate, and engage your lats to slowly pull your elbow to your hip.

3 Core Exercises for SOF operators: The Plank Pull
3 Core Exercises for SOF operators: The Plank Pull (Photo: Marines)

Tightly clench your fist and squeeze your entire upper body and core before returning to the start position. You will tend to rotate your hips up on the side you are pulling with. Don’t. Resist any hip rotation, keeping both hips parallel to the floor. Focus on quality instead of quantity. If you are unable to prevent hip rotation, use a resistance band with less tension.

The Suitcase Carry

Grab a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand and walk 50 yards. Drive your hips forward and engage your abs, again bracing as though to take a punch. Don’t allow your torso to tilt to either side while carrying. It is easy to relax and walk or lean into the carry, it is another story to stay engaged and upright bracing your core for the duration of the walk.

3 Core Exercises for SOF operators: The Suitcase Carry
3 Core Exercises for SOF operators: The Suitcase Carry (Photo: Muscle and Perform)

Sledge Hammer Swing

Swinging a sledgehammer at a large tire is a great core exercise that can also be very cardio intensive. Rule #1: Be sure to swing both rights and left-handed. Rule #2: Swing hard and watch out for your shins by controlling the bounce. Don’t just go through the motions. Give it everything, like you are trying to put the hammer through the tire with every swing.

3 Core Exercises for SOF operators: Sledge Hammer Swings
3 Core Exercises for SOF operators: Sledge Hammer Swings (Photo: XY)

The Workout

These exercises are great to add to your current workout anywhere you like, or you can follow this template for a 20 to 30-minute core crusher. Superset the first two exercises for 5 sets, then move on to the sledgehammer swings.

A1     Plank Pull     5 sets of 8 repetitions each arm

A2     Suitcase Carry     5 sets of 50 yards each arm

B1     Sledge Hammer Swing     75 swings each side

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