Have you ever heard a gym goer say “My core strength is just awesome.” Whenever gym junkies are asked about a weakness they’d like to improve, the answer is often the core.
The exception to the rule is those guys who incessantly check out their abs whenever they walk past a mirror. Yes, you know who you are
It’s the core responsibility to protect and stabilize the spine from unwanted movement. The more core strength you have, the better your body operates.
You can never get enough of it, in my humble opinion.
However, a lot of gym goers get confused on how to build core strength.
They either –
- Crunch like they’re having some sort of fit and need you to call 911
- Hold their planks for too long or with poor form
- Do pointless exercises (hello, triceps kickbacks) and totally skip their core training.
Let’s solve these problems by –
- Putting core training into main part of your training and not saving it for lucky last
- Adding movement and tension to your core stability exercises
If you looking to crunch like a mad man, you may as well stop reading now.
- RKC FRONT PLANK
This is not your everyday front plank. This is a total body challenge from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Maintaining this plank for longer than 10 seconds calls for your all-out effort.
Pairing this exercise in a superset with a compound strength exercise works well. For example:
1A. Bench press, squat or deadlift variation
1B. RKC front plank- 10 seconds
Or pair this with a cardiovascular exercise for a real heart-pumping, sweat inducing experience.
1A. Kettle bell swings 20 reps
1B. RKC front plank 10 seconds
Do this for five-ten rounds and then lie down happily in your pool of sweat.
- PULLOVER WITH DEADBUG
Strange name, but this is a highly effective core stability exercise. We’ve all seen those guys doing dumbbell pullovers, hoisting those huge dumbbells while mutilating their low back. Not cool.
If that sounds like you or your friends, stop and do this instead. Adding movement and resistance to your core training is a double whammy you are sure to enjoy.
This is perfect when paired with an exercise that demands core stability and a neutral spine. For example:
1A. Kettlebell goblet squat with lowering 8-12 reps
1B. Pullover with deadbug 12 reps (6 on each leg)
On chest and arms day, pairing this exercise with any bench or any overhead press variation works well. For example:
1A. Kettlebell floor press
1B. Pullover with deadbug 12 reps
Including these exercises into your core routines will get you stronger and save your spine from snapping in two. Save the crunches for the monkeys.