Leading on from ‘Should I Train Abs?’ I’d like to start by noting that training of both the core and abdominals does not have to take precedence over other areas of the body. Although it is an area that tends to add more load onto certain muscles unnecessarily if they happen to be weaker. From your vital organs working your way out, to the hair on your skin, imagine the importance of each layer and process functioning autonomously, How much does it differ as you edge closer to the surface of things we control? Do prolonged periods of sitting lead to lower back pain?
So what are the Core Muscles again?
Deep rooted core muscles pertaining postural balance and healthy movement.
Key phrase here being the latter, we all experience pain and discomfort as some point or another, shrugging off injuries nonchalantly, taking a tablet over a trip to the doctors, self diagnosis, insisting on pushing through, and if only your CORE could be as stubborn.
Here are my top 5 Core exercises that could be a weekly asset to your routine
You’ve guessed correctly
30 seconds, 40 seconds, a minute, anything that’s with some sort of regular progression in mind. This is the same for the sides and ‘active’ plank performed on hands as opposed to elbows. Alternate hands or a shoulder tap to add instability on each side, acknowledging tasks and daily lifting of objects in different planes of motion throughout the day.
Advanced- Half Speed Plank Get-up’s 4×15
EXPERT- Body Saws
2. Bear Crawl
You’ll see these featured in any solid programme for competitive strength and conditioning, a full body movement which requires coordination and flexibility through bodyweight. In a bird/dog position, Start off by bringing your knees from the floor and just holding your weight across all four points of contact –hands, feet– taking slow steps out with each. Once you are comfortable holding both your upper and lower body in a staggered fashion progress to crawling in a straight line, alternating hands with feet, right hand left foot LHRF RHLF.
Advanced- Spiderman Crawl
EXPERT- Lizard Crawl (Pending)
Jump as high as you can, hit the deck, get back up, don’t die.
Advanced- Man Makers
The same, but instead of jumping, clean and press a pair of dumbbells from the lying portion of the movement, add in a renegade row from the press-up position of the movement for extra instability and added difficulty.
EXPERT- Sledgehammer Burpees
Hit something hard, hit the deck whilst carrying the sledgehammer, alternate hands after each hit.
4. Ring Fallout
TRX is also equally as useful for this exercise. From a standing position, move your weight out in front of you, assuming a diving position, aiming to increase the distance from your hands to your feet. This can be done in reps or can be progressed further into a few second holds. Find the points to which your core shakes the most and iron them out, keep everything tight without overarching or rounding your back.
Advanced- Single Arm fallout
EXPERT- Standing Barbell Rollout
5. Farmers Walk
Pick up something heavy, assume an upright posture walk the length of the gym, slowly, heel toe.
Advanced- Overhead Carry
EXPERT- A sustained carry of anything in excess of BODYWEIGHT(KG)
Try each of these on a day which isn’t going to impede on your workout, Farmers walks at the beginning of heavy back split may make your grip soft. Fallouts will burn out your core muscles so doing something like a squat or deadlift will be much harder to keep tight, and finally, best till last, burpees at the end as they are the hardest.
Look out for my next blog ‘Should I Compete?’