An Advanced Core Workout For Athletes

An Advanced Core Workout For Athletes

“I don’t feel this,” says everyone who holds a plank.

And it’s true.

Due to the isometric muscle contraction of a conventional plank, it’s hard to feel like we are actually “working” our abdominal muscles.

This isn’t to discount the benefits of this movement, as it is great for tying the posterior and anterior core together, but once nailed down, athletes should progress to further build core strength.

And by progressing the plank, that doesn’t mean have “longest plank” competitions and have your youth athletes hold for over 5 minutes.

For one, I want to see someone who can maintain full body tension for 5 minutes without their face melting.

Two, I want to see close-to-perfect form, without compensation of the low back.

And three, I prefer to see strength over muscular endurance, especially if athletes have been training for a while and need to up the ante.

So how do we progress core strength? A simple rule of thumb: decrease duration, increase intensity. Click To Tweet

Before you dive into the movements below, check out this beginning sample core workout for youth athletes.

When you’re ready, here is a menu of advanced core exercises:


1. Plank with Weight

Perform 2-3 sets, 15-30 seconds.


2. Axial Crawl with Weight

Perform 2-3 sets, 3 clockwise, 3 counterclockwise.


3. Hollow Hold Pullover

Perform 2-3 sets, 15-30 seconds


4. Chaos Pallof Hold

Perform 2-3 sets, 15-30 seconds.


5. Quadruped Dumbbell Drags

Perform 2-3 sets, 15-30 seconds.

Of course, you can continue to decrease the time and up the load, but start with these set and rep schemes first to build strength.

Be sure to choose a weight that makes the last 10 seconds of the exercise challenging. And yes, these ones you should be able to “feel” in your core.

One caveat: sometimes athletes crave a core burning, hypertrophy workout with high rep and duration, and this is totally okay to sprinkle in when they have the wiggle room to do so.

Enjoy and let me know how you do.



For more sample programs, sets and reps, work-to-rest time, and in-season and off-season plans, get Total Youth Soccer Fitness 365 HERE

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