12.27.16

The Best Workouts For A Strong Core

By: Travelle Gaines

Core Training is often thought of as just your abdominals and obliques, but when training the core, it should be a system approach. Your hips, torso, and shoulders are considered your “PILLAR” of strength and stability and should be included in core training.

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If you think about the way the body moves and interchanges when performing different movements — core training should really be done in a system. When properly trained, you’ll see an increase in your strength, speed, power, and stamina.

Here are a few of my favorite core-training exercises to implement into your workout program:

  1. The pillar bridge (plank): A great exercise to improve shoulder and core stability.

One variation I love to use is the four-point hold on the stability ball, as the ball adds another degree of difficulty to the already challenging movement. The uncertainty of the ball forces extreme focus and challenges your shoulders and core to resist movement.  Complete three Sets of 30 seconds.

  1. Supine leg raises: This is a great core exercise that focuses on your hip flexors, the lower abdomen region, and the lower back and hamstrings. The alternating variation is one of my favorites because it keeps your core engaged, but also strengthens the same movements used when walking and running.

Begin lying on your back, elevate your heels about 6 inches above the ground, pull your toes towards your shin and raise your legs to about waist height alternating. Complete three sets of 10 reps each leg, without bringing your feet to the floor.

  1. Medicine ball Russian twist: The Russian twist is a great exercise to improve rotational strength and endurance in your core and shoulders since sports are played in multiple planes of motions for an extended period of time.

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Begin sitting on the ground with your knees up, position your back at a 45-degree angle with a nice tall chest posture.  For 30 seconds or your preferred time, rotate your torso bringing the ball from one hip to the other. You should feel this working your obliques, hip flexors, and shoulders. Complete three sets of 30 seconds.

Another great variation of this exercise is medicine ball power throws. Begin in the same position as the Russian twist but instead of rotating hip to hip, start on one side of your hip, rotate and throw the med ball as fast as you can. Complete three sets of 10 per side.

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Core workouts are an essential part of your daily training regimen because of their ability to work multiple muscles throughout your body. These three exercises as a system are simple to implement into your daily workout routine, and can help take your core strength to the next level.

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