3 Melissa Wood-Tepperberg-Approved Moves to Sculpt Your Core

The MWH founder demonstrated a trio of ‘slow and controlled’ moves in a recent Instagram post.
Melissa Wood-Tepperberg was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica
Melissa Wood-Tepperberg was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

In fitness, there seems to be a misconception that ab workouts are purely tailored to visibly tone your core in order to achieve a six-pack (or at least some definition). But the fact of the matter is that core strength is hugely important overall, and the benefits of ab workouts extend far beyond aesthetics.

Having a strong core will in turn improve your other fitness practices. If you have solid abdominal strength, your cycling, running, yoga and Pilates (among other things) will be better for it. So, when we came across Melissa Wood-Tepperberg’s Instagram post, in which she demonstrated three meaningful ways to sculpt your core, we knew we had to share—and promptly hit the gym to try them out.

Wood-Tepperberg is known to have some of the best and most effective at-home sculpt routines. Her platform, MWH, offers hundreds of on-demand classes ranging from weighted sculpts and yoga to stretching and meditation.

In a recent post, she shared three moves from her latest sculpted core class. Using a light weight, she expertly demonstrated the following moves and talked viewers through the mechanics of each:

1. Standing side crunch

Hold a single weight in one hand and let it rest by your side. Place your other hand behind your head. Slowly crunch toward the weighted side, letting the weight move toward the ground, while keeping your hand close to your side. Be sure to “stay engaged through center,” according to Wood-Tepperberg. Repeat on other side.

2. Weighted crunch with legs extended

Assume a crunch position, but keep your legs extended long on the mat. Raise your hand holding the weight overhead and use the other to support your neck. Holding a crunch position, pull the weight across your body and reach it toward your toes. Repeat on the other side.

3. Side lying oblique crunches

Lay on your side and extend your lower leg straight on the mat. Bring the upper leg to a 90 degree angle relative to your body. Prop yourself up on one elbow and bring the other arm holding the weight overhead. Crunch up and reach the weight toward the toes of your straightened leg, keeping the weight close to your body. Repeat on the other side.

“Strengthening your core changes everything,” Wood-Tepperberg wrote in the caption. “3 moves from my new 24 min sculpted core to enhance those muscles you didn’t even know were possible until you move in a slow controlled way.”

Like much of her practice, the moves are meant to be performed slowly and deliberately, ensuring that each is is maximally effective. If, after incorporating these moves into your ab routine, you’re craving more of her content, you can subscribe to her platform for just $14.95 per month.

Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.