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4 For The Core Exercises 2023

4 For The Core Exercises 2023

4 For The Core is a specialized Army PRT drill that tests a soldier’s core muscles’ stability, strength, and endurance.

  • Four for the core exercises provide maximum impact on a sodlier’s pelvis, lower spine, and abdominal region. 

Army 4 for the Core Exercises

The following are the Army four for the core exercises:

  1. Bent-Leg Raise
  2. Side Bridge
  3. Back Bridge
  4. Quadraplex

Understanding the Core and its Importance

  • The abdomen, lower spine, and pelvis comprise the trunk (core) of the body.
  • The core area must be stable so the limbs have a fixed base to create powerful movements.
  • Abdominal and back muscles form a supportive ring around the spine.
  • Soldiers are only as strong as their weakest link, so they should train all these muscles to mimic their function.

Implementation of the “4 For The Core” Routine (4C)

  • In reconditioning, 4C and HSD are performed daily before engaging in other PRT activities.
  • During the toughening phase, 4C is performed after preparation and before strength and mobility activities.
  • You can perform Four for the core exercises outside of regular PRT sessions as supplemental training.
  • Do not exceed 60 seconds for each 4C exercise.

Commands for 4C Exercises 

Exercises 1 and 3 (Bent leg raise and Back bridge)

  • Starting Position, MOVE
  • Ready, EXERCISE
  • Starting Position, MOVE.
  • Position of Attention, MOVE.

Exercises 2 and 4 (Side bridge and Quadraplex)

  • These are both performed on the right and left sides.
  • The commands for execution for this exercise and changing sides are as follows:
    • Starting Position, MOVE.
    • Ready, EXERCISE.
    • Starting Position, MOVE.
    • Change Position, Ready EXERCISE.
    • Starting Position, MOVE.
    • Position of Attention, MOVE.

The objective of the Four for the core routine

  • The goal is to hold each exercise position for 60 seconds.
  • If the Soldier cannot do this, he will follow the instructions for each exercise to change position and return to the prescribed position momentarily.

Army PRT Four For The Core Exercises

The following are the Army PRT four for the core exercises:

Number4 For The Core Exercises
Exercise 1Bent-Leg Raise
Exercise 2Side Bridge
Exercise 3Back Bridge
Exercise 4Quadraplex
Four for the Core Exercises

Bent-Leg Raise:

  • With the bent-leg raise exercises, you will lie flat on your back, lifting your legs, bending your knees at a 90-degree angle, and lowering them without touching the floor. 
  • This exercise works your abdominal muscles, core, and hip flexor muscles.

Side Bridge:

  • With the side bridge exercises, you will lie on your side, crossing your feet together and lifting your hips with one forearm.
  • This exercise works your oblique muscles, rectus abdominis, and lower back muscles.

Back Bridge:

  • With the back bridge exercises, you will lie on your back, bending your knees and lifting your hips from the floor. Lying on your back with your knees bent, lift your hips off the ground by pressing through your heels.
  • This exercise works your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.


  • With the Quadraplex exercises, you will start in a six-point position with the knees on the ground beneath the hips, extending the right arm in front and the right leg behind in the opposite direction.
  • This exercise works your core (rectus abdominis and erector spinae), glutes, and deltoid muscles.

Muscles Worked by Army PRT 4 for the Core

The Army 4 for the core exercises works on the following muscles:

  1. Obliques (Internal and External): These muscles are essential for lateral flexion, core stability, and rotation; they are on the sides of the abdomen.
  2. Rectus Abdominis: Also known as the “6-pack”, these muscles are essential for flexing the lumbar spine.
  3. Multifidus: Four for the core drills work on the multifidus muscles, which are esseantial for spinal stabulity; these muscles are in the spinal column.
  4. Transverse Abdominis: These are the inner abdominal muscles; they aid in the stability of the spine and pelvis.
  5. Erector Spinae: Army core exercises work on the erector spinae (muscles lining the spine) during extension and rotation of the spine.

Benefits of the Four For The Core Exercises

  • Preventing Injuries: Four for the core exercises strengthen core muscles, which reduces your risk of injury during other physical activities such as the ACFT or combat missions.
  • Better Posture: Soldiers with a strong core will also enhance their posture, which is important in activities such as marches, parades, etc.
  • Improved Stability and Balance: As previously mentioned, 4C core exercises improve your posture, which is crucial in maintaining stability and balance during Physical training or combat scenarios.
  • Better Physical Performance: The Army four for the core activities improve a soldier’s overall physical performance, which is crucial for other physical activities such as lifting, climbing, planking, running, and even swimming. 
  • Better ACFT Score: Soldiers with a strong core will perform better in the fitness tests and max their ACFT Standards scores than soldiers with a weak core.

Important Notes for New Soldiers

  • Be consistent and regularly do your Army PRT 4 for the core exercises to maximize the benefits.
  • Focus on using the proper form during these core exercises; do not prioritize the speed of executing the exercises.
  • Practice makes perfect; some PRT four for the core exercises and activities will be challenging initially, but with time and practice, your body will adapt. 
  • Always stay hydrated at all times.
  • Breathe properly when doing these exercises; breathing properly aids better muscle functions, making you more effective during core exercises.

Can you do these exercises regularly?

  • Can you do these exercises regularly? Yes. The main advantage here is that these exercises work very well, even if you do them daily.
  • They can be difficult initially because you need to get used to them. Yet once you start performing them often, the entire experience is better.
  • Another essential aspect of the 4 for the core exercises is that you should only hold any position during these exercises for up to 60 seconds.
  • That’s important because you don’t want to overdo it and put too much pressure on the core.
  • Instead, you want to keep things more straightforward while following all the PRT instructions.
  • Every workout has specific instructions to follow.
  • Ideally, you want to maintain order for all these routines.
George N.