Advertising

Strengthen Your Core With These 3 Simple Exercises

Advertising
Strengthen Your Core With These 3 Simple Exercises

Often we associate a strong “core” with 6 pack abs. While these things can be similar, they are not necessarily the same. Having “6 pack abs” is usually more a result of having a very low body fat.

A strong core is however, is about the muscles surrounding the spine working together to “brace” the spine against compression, shear and hoop (circular/ twisting) forces. Some of these are not just 6 pack muscles like the rectus abdominus. But also the lats, obliques, transverse abdominus, spinal errectors and even glutes. A strong, stable, core is protective of the low back, improves posture and sports performance by facilitating the most effective transfer of force from the extremities through the body.

These 3 exercises will revolutionize your core training and bring you out of the dark ages of crunches and sit-ups and into 2016.

Advertising

Palloff Press:

  • Maintain a stable base, feet slightly greater than hip width and “rooted” (solid foot pressure through the heels) into the floor, toes straight ahead.
  • Hips pushed back slightly.
  • Soft, slightly bent, knees.
  • Shoulders down.
  • Ribcage in neutral on the abs.
  • Create a straight line through the crotch, belt buckle, belly button, sternum (between the nipples) and chin.

The most important aspect of the Palloff Press is to focus on maintaining tension through the body and resisting movement through the core.

Stir The Pot:

Advertising

  • Start in a plank position, abs tight, shoulders in the joint and glutes squeezed.
  • The pressure on the ball should be with the forearms. Not by digging the elbows on the ball.
  • Don’t allow the hips or shoulders to drop, rotate or shift during the movement.
  • Focus on creating tight, even circles with ball.

Maintaining tension through the core the entire time, never relax between revolutions of the ball. Make sure you do an equal number of rotations in both directions.

stir capture

    Suitcase Carry:

    Advertising

    • Start in a tall, “pillar” position. The ribcage, and hips in neutral. Shoulder in the joint.
    • Stay tall, no leaning, spine neutral the whole time.
    • Crush the bell.
    • Neither the arm or bell should rest on the body.
    • Keep your steps to a normal or slightly shorter length so you stay “under” the hips.

    Like the other exercises the focus of the suitcase carry is creating tightness through the core and resisting twisting or bending of the spine.

    Farmers Walk Capture

      Next time you’re training your core, try these and remember the focus of all of them should never be how long you can hold them or how many reps you can do. Instead focus on creating tightness and never allowing the “core” to move. You’ll be amazed at how these exercises will revolutionize your training, strengthen your core and improve your performance, posture and back pain.

      Advertising

      Featured photo credit: Anti-Rotational Drills (Pallof Press) via youtube.com

      More by this author

      Roy Pumphrey

      Fitness Coaching

      8 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Bridges Every Day How Strength Training Can Completely Transform Your Body How To Undo The Damage High Heels Are Causing To Your Body Infographic That Shows How Much Exercise You Need To Burn Off These Food 5 Ways To Increase Happiness (With Scientific Evidence)

      Trending in Fitness

      1 10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now 2 8 Weight Loss Tracker and Exercise Apps for Your Fitness Goals 3 13 Best Fitness Apps to Use in the Comfort of Your Home 4 Why You Should Keep a Fitness Journal to Jumpstart Weight Loss 5 How to Find Workout Motivation When You Hate Exercise

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on November 22, 2021

      Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

      Advertising
      Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

      Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

      During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

      But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

      Advertising

      Simplify

      I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

      Absolutely.

      And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

      Advertising

      If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

      • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
      • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
      • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

      Be Mindful

      You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

      Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

      Advertising

      Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

      Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

      Reflect

      As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

      Advertising

      Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

      But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

      So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

      Advertising

      Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

      Read Next