As a Personal Trainer I’m always asked what the best core exercises to do. I’m quite sure that if you are researching for core movements on the web you will be inundated with more than enough exercises to fill your next year or so with every variation possible in getting that midsection sorted out. Because we all know you want super looking abs for summer! So for those who in addition follow a strict nutritional regime the results will be that ever elusive 6 pack. For me at the moment the 6 pack AKA as beach abs isn’t whats going to get the job done. I need strong and resilient core strength first in order to be able to carry out my daily activities in being a Personal trainer. The summer abs usually are lightly (whatever that means) packed away for now with a still lean, healthy and happy body. I’ll leave the schreding for those who feel the need to look under fed all year round.
Ok let’s move on, here are my favourite core movements that I see as my go to. Yes these are my own that I like and use often within my own programming. This is not to be confused with the core work I provide my personal training clients. My clients needs alter due to fitness, movement, possible hindrances and injury. Hope you can make them a favourite for you.
This attachment to me is awesome. It’s a movement that you are activation the core work while standing up. As most life and sporting endeavours are carried on standing up it makes sense to work the core standings. For those who otherwise perform a sport on the floor (example BJJ or wrestling) the carry over effect is well complimented by the real time you spend on the mat and do your thing.
My own Little Torsonator attachment works wonders and develops my rotational core strength. The movement is generated from the legs and works you through the torso. This is the sort of strength and conditioning you get that transfers over well and can be applied to many sports. For me it’s just a simple and d effective movement in getting the job done. Best of all I’m getting my core in upright.
Turkish get ups
First up this exercise/movement totally rocks. It basically all you need if you only had one exercise to do and minimum equipment. (Preferably a kettlebell ) The TGU stands alone in working the entire body through its initial complicated sequence of movements from the ground to a full standing position. As an RKC2 instructors the TGU is one of the primary moves taught and are tested on, and effectively applied to my clients for either a movement screen , Cardio, strength and for some a solid conditioning workout. It all depends on the bell used the objectives and hopefully for you proper instruction. Once you start working the “heavy one” you will soon realise that the core gets a consistent workout over the sequence and is of great benefits. It’s why the TGU is one of my favourites. Make it yours.
Hanging Leg raises
It’s only been recently that I’ve even bothers to attempt these little nuggets. You see I didn’t even rate them. Perhaps I was too busy being strong or something. It was only during my RKC2 cert that I realised I couldn’t even bring my legs up to the bar and lower with any strength let alone control. I learned a lesson that day. Since then I took on the progression starting with hanging knee rises and took it from there. Now I’m able to rep out and lower with more control and dignity than before. A worthy skill to have as a trainer and especially if you are going to demonstrate it to people you wants to perform same task. My abs generally gets a little tender when I push this movement. (That’s a good thing, right?) It’s also helped in my overhead arm position due to volumes, and is a constant stretch. No overhead positioning problems for me.
I was introduced to these a while back in viewing Mike Mahler on you tube. It’s basically holding onto two kettlebells ( yes kettlebells do a better job) in a traditional push up position and then shifting you bodyweight over to one side and pulling up to the side of the torso with the other. A simplistic explanation that works better with proper instruction. Rushing into this one can be problematic as you have two protruding metal handles to face plant if you get it wrong. Refer a Kettlebell instructor for this if unsure. The learning of the renegade rows allow for the full body to work in a combined effort to allow for the shifting of the bodyweight and the pulling motion of weight. Overtime when you are more efficient and handle a greater load It then becomes obvious how hard the midsection id getting a hammering. Learn, practice and then go for it.
The Abdominal Wheel is a classic. Along with the Torsinator, it delivers a genuine abdominal workout that addresses your whole mid-section, not just the beach muscles.
This little devil reminds me of the late night infomercials back in the late 80 where the very muscled and lean bloke would do countless reps while showing off his impressive torso. I can only imagine how many of these little suckers where bought up and them after that one workout – yeah the one we did for 3 hours and then never touched the bloody thing it again! For those who want the full technical explanation on what muscles.
Here’s what part of the spill is on Ironedge’s web site mentions;
“A functionally strong core, which means greater balance, stability and spinal health, requires that you learn to brace the whole mid section. This requires the synergistic contraction of the rectus abdominals, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus, multifidus, quadratus lumborum, sphincter and diaphragm.”
I just call it a devilish little wheel that lets you know what muscles you have worked properly. Give it a try and see for yourself. No cheating.
So there you have it my favourites (for now) At Claudefit Personal training I normally work on the basis of full body strength, mobility and fitness and take it from there depending on objectives. Can’t really go wrong with General physical preparation for most individuals so anything specific will be addressed for core if required.
Keeping a strong core/midsection is critical for health and strength benefits. In particular as you get older and need this important strength.