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Before we start this, its probably worth saying these are what we would call ‘Core’ exercises rather than your traditional abs exercises like sit-ups, mountain climbers and v-sits. Core training is extremely important for stability of the spine as well as helping with movement and supporting our bodies through daily activities and of course, training. However its quite common to read and see many individuals preach core training when in actual fact, they are really just training the abs. Simply training abs in the ways seated above will not help with stability, will not strengthen your spine and will not help with movement and support. In order to do that we must train our core and here are 3 top core exercises you should be doing in your program.
1. Pallof Press/ Pallof Rotations -
This is one of my all time favourites and requires nothing more than a band or cable machine. Given many reading this will be training from home, I've made sure all three exercises can be done with nothing more than a resistance band. This is what we would refer to as a anti-rotation exercise, preventing the spine from rotating. Its also very important to train the core in more than one plane of motion and this is one that will take care of that.
- Start by attaching a band to a pole, or setting up a cable around chest hight.
- Take the band out in front of you with your arms strait, legs shoulder distance apart and knees slightly bent.
- Hold the band in this position for 2-3 seconds before rotating the opposite way to the attachment, ensuring you keep your feet planted and follow the direction of the band with your head.
- Once you have rotated 90º start to come back to a central position slowly, ensuring your arms stay strait in front of you.
2. Banded/Rope Crunches -
In order to build a string core you must also provide weighted tension, rope or banded crunches are great for this. These will help build a strong midline and can quite easily be joined with pallof press/rotations working a separate plane or motion.
- Start by attaching a band to a high bar, or setting up a cable at the top position.
- Kneel directly under the band/cable grasping the handles and holding them behind your head.
- From here breath out as you pull the cable down tucking your head under until your reach the bottom of the movement.
- Bring your head up following the same path as you went down, this time breathing in until you reach your start position.
3. Hollow Holds -
Undoubtedly one of the hardest core exercises that requires balance, concentration and a strong core from start to finish. This would be referred to as a anti-extension exercise, preventing the back from arching. Once you can master these you can do pretty much anything when it comes to direct core training. Commonly seen with a lot of calisthenic and Crossfit trainees, these have become more apparent in your everyday training program because of how good beneficial they are.
- Start by lying flat on the floor, from here bring your knees into a 90º angle, tuck your chin into your chest and push your arms strait by the side of your knees.
- From here start by straitening your legs into the air and point your toes forward.
- Next bring your body forward, keeping your neck tucked into your chest.
- Finally raise your arms over your head until you reach the ‘hollow’ position.
Whats great about all 3 exercises is how little equipment you actually need to do them. Simply having a resistance band means you can do them in the park, at home or even on your holidays. Not to mention how insanely good each movement is for your core, stability and everyday movement.
Doing theses three exercises in your program will help with all the points we've discussed above, not to mention it will dramatically change your midline and make you stronger, and for those wanting a predominant six pack and abs, theres no question about it, these are MUST.
These three gems are taken from the #TRANSFORM with Change 8 week body transformation program and are covered every week. I truly believe adding in exercises that target the core are going to help improve strength, performance and stability. To find out how to get involved with #TRANSFORM follow this link and sign up today for the launch offer of £49.
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