A lot of the time when I work with clients in their early stages they always seem to mention “I just want to improve my core”.
Lots of people seem to get mixed up between having a strong core to having visual abs.Believe it or not it can be quite different.If your looking for visual abs yes you are going to need to do some core work but mostly its going to come down to what you are eating in order to drop bodyfat getting leaner which in turn will visually give you those abs.
Core work on the other hand is far more important and in general I would always have function and performance far greater than aesthetics.Sure body image is important but If you start focusing on moving better,working out better then I am a huge believer you will start to look better too with time once you look after the nutrition end of things.
Lots of us know the basic drills like planks,hollow holds,russian twists,side bends and so on and some of us should know by now that bringing in big exercises like deadlifts and squats and carries are also super for building core strength but lets look at different and more challenging exercises that you may not know about that really will help you out big time.
Here is my top 7
- Pall-of press
One of the best exercises you need to be doing and is for all levels of fitness.I am huge fan of resistance bands as they have so many uses from mobility work,accessory work right into core work.If your a guy or girl who plays rotational sports this really is an exercise you need to be doing often.
- Banded chop rotations
Very similar to the drill above and something you can pair together starting with chops and ending with a press.This time using 2 bands tied together.This is a type of exercise looking in that can look easy but when doing it right it really can work those core muscles.
- Barbell rollout complex
Any type of rollout is an excellent drill.There are so many pieces of equipment you can use for this drill from an ab wheel,set of rings to a TRX. Today,I went with the more challenging version of using a loaded barbell with 5kg bumper plates each side.Getting stable over the bar was the big challenge here as straight away the bar wants to roll away from your center of mass.Get tight and try and avoid your hips collapsing forward putting unwanted pressure on your lower back as you roll out.I brought in some push ups off the bar to make it that bit more harder.Give it a go.
- Seal drag
Another super drill and again paired these up with push ups.Client Ciaran showing great form as he remains braced and tight throughout the movement.We are using val slides here and they are really a super tool to have in the gym bag.I mentioned them here in this article.
- L-SIT holds
One of the best core exercises out there.A drill that is extremely popular in the gymnastic world and go look at any top level gymnast and you will for sure find them with unbelievable core strength.This really is a movement that needs to be scaled back if you are a total beginner and here is a useful way below where resistance bands can help you out
- Bar pulls
To be honest I haven’t got a name for this drill but its hard as hell and generally for the more stronger individual.Using a 9kg bar here on top of 2 small boxes and aiming to pull and hold each side.Tough drill that really works the obliques.
- Barbell turkish get up
Huge fan of the get up and is a drill that really anybody can do.Use your own shoe to start with then work into a kettlebell or dumbbell then aim to make it more challenging going for that barbell which you can see below.
So there you go that’s my top 7 and perhaps there is 1 or 2 new exercises in there that you have never seen before.Like I said before its really important in training and strengthening your core regularly.I like to change up my exercises regularly as generally get bored of the same basic core drills.
I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below.
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You can also see some of his previous articles here.