26 Apr 3 New Challenging Core Exercises To Show Your Athletes
Let’s just ignore this article and gawk at the photo above.
Sure, six packs are attractive, but I won’t be a bitch and swipe left if you don’t have one.
Look: core work is important. However, if you’re doing enough compound lifts to keep it strong and durable, I’d argue you don’t need to fight for a chiseled mid-section.
And provided you’re training for total body strength with progressive overload, chances are, you don’t need many more core movements to hone athleticism. And if you’re dialing in nutrition, you deserve a cyber fist pound.
However, sometimes these isolation moves are totallyyyyyy necessary to supplement your program and overcome plateaus. Or if you’re embarking on a getaway to South Beach.
Admittedly, before I went to Miami last year, I kicked up my core training a notch with hypertrophy work. Yes, my physique transformed, but more importantly, I felt fantastic. Always, always aim for movements that make you feel groovy and alive.
Do I have a six pack year round? Hell no. But in the rare instance I’m chasing physique goals, I’m incorporating anterior core focused movements.
If you or your athletes also want to up the ante with extra pizzazz, I promise you’ll enjoy these accessory moves. They’re simple, effective, and quick and don’t involve conventional crunches, Russian twists, or bicycle kicks. They also train anti-rotation and lumbar stability (a great book on the importance of this for low back health: Back Mechanic by Dr. Stuart McGill).
*This bears repeating: not all spinal flexion is bad and will make the world go up in flames, so take my love affair with anti-rotation work with a grain of salt. ;-O
1.) Cable Rope Dead Bug
Why It’s Awesome:
– Excellent for anterior core activation and anti-rotation
– Better way to challenge the hollow hold by manipulating lever arms (cable rope and leg lowering)
– Start with arms and legs straight, with your lower back pressed into the ground.
– Pull cable rope toward your chest with shoulders off ground. At same time, lift the legs up (straight) toward your belly button.
– Keep a tucked chin throughout the entire movement.
– Perform 2-5 sets 8-12 reps
2.) Offset Band Dead Bug
Why I Like It:
– Anterior core work
– Motor learning/coordination of opposite limbs
– Biceps (I’d argue this because you have to keep tension on the band)
– Increased anterior core activation and stability challenge due to unilateral load
– Looks easy, but it is a pain in the ass.
– With shoulders off ground and chin tucked in, pull resistance band overhead until there’s enough tension.
– Lower the contralateral leg as you maintain tension in the band.
– Perform 2-5 sets 8-12 reps.
3.) Uphill Backward Crawling
Why I Like It:
– Threw you for a curveball, huh?
– Total body strength, core stability, reflexive strength, coordination, boss mode status
– Find a hill.
– Move the opposite limbs simultaneously while keeping the knees low to the ground.
– Make sure the hips don’t sway and they stay stable.
– Turn on trap music.
– Good luck.
– Perform as much as you can handle. Heck, I’d argue this is a great “recovery” in between hill sprints and conditioning work.
Give these a try and let me know how you do.