Having a strong core has a fantastic carry over to the rest of your training. It aids in power generation, stability, control and reduces the chances of injuries. If you’re sick of doing countless crunches and sit-ups in the quest for a much stronger core, then try some of these exercises instead.
Important – Your core isn’t just what you see!
Your core is composed of the muscles around the spine, shoulder blades, lower back and outer/internal stomach muscles too. Traditional core exercises like sit-ups and crunches only target the outer abs. This is why you should have variety in your exercises when looking for a better core strengthening point of view.
Exercises to improve core strength
The reason planks are so good for your core, is that they work as an anti-extension exercise. What this means is that the exercise helps you to resist unnecessary hyperextension of your spine. It’s important to maintain a strong alignment with your exercises for maximum power and stability, so planks are the perfect supplement for that. Mix your planks up too for a challenge between forearm planks, high planks on your hands or even lateral moving planks.
Bugs & Dogs
Not enough people do these exercises when it comes to core exercises, yet they carry so much benefit. These type of exercises act as an anti-rotation aid. Anti-rotation exercises are great for building core stability, while reducing rotation. You are only as strong as your weakest link, so when your core is solid, set in place and can resist these external forces, your power output will go through the roof. Examples are DEAD BUGS or BIRD DOGS. Adding extra weight to exercises like this will strengthen things even more…just remember to RESIST rotation.
Squats & Deadlifts
A surprisingly effective exercise to train for core strength development are Squats and Deadlifts. When performing these, you’re trying not to bend your spine through core tension (bracing). This is called anti-flexion. At the same time, your core must transfer force from your legs into the body to lift upwards. Do not underestimate these big compound movements for better core strength alongside the others listed above.