5 Core Moves You're Not Doing Vol. 2

There’s a difference between need and want, right? I WANT abs so I can look all sexy on the beach. I NEED a strong core so I don’t blow out my back lifting a bag of dog food.

This is the second installment of core moves you’re not doing. The last one started like this:

“What's one of the first things anyone sees in a "fitness" photo?


There's a difference between your "abs" and your "core."

Abs come from eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep and working out 3-5x a week (for most people). Your core is the column from your ears to your knees and is the center of all of your strength. A strong core doesn't mean you have abs and ripped abs doesn't mean you have a strong core.”

These words still ring true. Now we think of core training as maintaining a stable spine while the limbs move. Think of core exercises through this lens and it’s easy to see how SO MANY of the traditional core exercise are just plain wrong!

Check out some of these new moves and ad them to your routine.

1) Side Plank

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Your core training should reenforce good posture. Outside forces are going to bend and twist you and your core needs to be strong and stable to protect your spine. Enter the side plank!

Side planks strengthen your core to resist side bending (lateral flexion). Being able to carry all the groceries on one side starts here!

1… Start on your side with legs extended and elbow under your shoulder(ish).
2… Push your forearm into the floor to engage your shoulder and connect to the floor.
3… Push through your feet like there’s a heavy weight against the bottom of them.
4… Get tall with your head a.k.a. find good posture!
5… Continue to push through the floor, your feet and the top of your head to find full body tension.


2) Suitcase Carry

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Talk about getting good at carrying groceries in one hand. Getting strong while side planking leads to heavy carries like this. Again, we’re getting stronger at resisting lateral flexion and all the compensations that come with it.

1… Find a moderate weight you can hold in one hand and stand up tall with. Start to walk.
2… Push both hands down towards the floor, the loaded side and the unloaded side.
3… Try to maintain a smooth step with both feet (the unloaded side tends to be more difficult).
4… Breathe deeply.
5… Include the march (pictured) to add difficulty. With each step think about pushing your foot through the floor.


3) Resisted Mountain Climber

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You’ve seen the typical mountain climber. We’re more strict on form than most, but when people look solid performing it with body weight we add the band (and maybe a dowel). Here, we’re teaching the body to avoid extension and rotation.

1… Start on all fours, shifting a little extra weight to your hands.
2… With the band around your feet, slowly step back with one foot.
3… Hover the opposite knee off of the floor.
4… Once you feel sturdy, step back to a plank and alternate sides.
5… Add the dowel to give you feed back when your hips are twisting.


4) Half Kneeling A/R Press

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Speaking of resisting rotation, we have the under-rated A/R press or Palov Press. Here, force from a band or cable machine is pulling you in one direction and you’re job is to push your hands straight out without twisting.

1… Start with one knee up and one knee down (or both knees or standing), knee closest to the anchor is down.
2… Get the band or cable handle in front of your heart.
3… Find a target straight out in front of you and push your hands toward it.
4… Extend the arms slow enough so you can feel any weight shift. Stay centered!
5… Rinse and repeat. Make sure to get both sides.


5) Shoulder Tap Plank

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Finally, this gem! The mountain climber teaches anti-rotation in the lower body, shoulder tap plank does that for the upper body (similar to the A/R press). Most members, especially ladies, want to see more defined triceps. If that’s you, try this out!

1… Start on all fours, shifting a little extra weight to your hands.
2… Step back into a plank with wide feet.
3… Choose a hand to push down into the floor until you feel your arm get tight.
4… Slowly lift the opposite hand off of the floor to tap your shoulder.
5… Reset the hands and repeat on the other side.

Keep in mind with these exercises, and any exercise for that matter, the goal is to maintain great form. Doing core exercises wrong really defeats the purpose of doing them at all. Go slow, feel for any compensations and reap the benefits of your hard work. It won’t be easy, but it will be fun!

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5 Core Moves You’re Not Doing Vol. 1

exerciseMike TooleComment