4 Common Core Training Exercises
As a coach I
have seen a vast array of common core training exercises. Many are safe and you
might even say they are “fit for purpose”. However, some core exercises can be
downright dangerous for any number of reasons – usually due to poor exercise
execution. But even those that are recognized as “good” core exercises should
be investigated properly before being implemented into your training program.
Here are the
If you want to move
efficiently, you will need to
have control of your central longitudinal axis (that’s an imaginary line from
the top of your head through your spine) . Your ability to maintain control of this axis is made more
difficult by your trunk having the adapterbility to move in several different planes:
- Forwards and
backwards (Sagittal Plane)
- Side to side
Plane (Transverse Plane)
longitudinal axis will collapse under load if you first don’t strengthen the
deep stabilizing muscles surrounding the spine, and then strengthen your core
in a forward, backwards, rotational or sideways direction.
four of the most common core training exercises which target your core in these
specific ways. A video demonstrating how each exercise is done is included...
called a Crunch, this exercise and its variations are probably the most common
core training exercises there are.
- Lie on your
back on an exercise mat with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor;
- Place your
arms across your chest;
- Place your
spine in a neutral position and equal pressure on both sides of your pelvis;
- Raise your
upper body from the mat until it is about 45 degree (maintain neutral spine and
- Lower your upper
body back to the mat until your shoulder blade touches the mat;
resistance in the form of a weighted disc, medicine ball or power-bag can be
held in the arms across the chest.
Reverse Curls / Hyperextension
As a common core training exercise the reverse
curl is designed to strengthen the erector spinae.
- You should
lie face down on a table with your upper body hanging over the edge;
- Hold your
hands behind your ears while a partner holds down your lower body (specialized
equipment will allow you to do the exercise without having to rely on a partner);
from a lowered position, raise your upper body until it is in line with the
- Lower your
upper body back to a position where you are able to maintain a neutral spine
(do not curl the spine into the table);
resistance in the form of a barbell or powerbag can be used.
exercise specifically targets the obliques and works the trunk in the coronal
- Select an
appropriate dumbbell or weight disc (5kgs plus);
yourself where you are able to stand on two separate levels simultaneously – a
raised platform no more than 6 inches will do;
side on, place one leg on the raised platform and the other on the floor
(keeping both legs straight), you should now be tilted to one side;
- Hold the
dumbbell in the hand on the opposite side of your raised leg – the tilted side;
- Make sure
you are not over extended on the raised side and there is no buckling on the
tilted side and that your shoulders are square with your hips;
- Slowly lower
your upper body until the dumbbell slides pass your knee joint being careful
not to buckle your spine;
straighten your upper body up over the leg on the floor;
several repetitions on one side and then repeat on the other side.
exercise strengthens and enhances your core by improving your trunk stability while
developing your rotational strength.
- Sit on an
exercise mat with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor, leaning back
at a 45 degree angle;
- Hold your
arms out in front of you (using a weighted disc or medicine ball will increase
- Rotate your
upper body by turning your shoulders to one side and then to the other side;
- Back and
forth equal one repetition.
The above exercises
are just a sample of some of the most common core training exercises which
strengthen your trunk in all the planes of movements. At all times you should
ensure your spine is in the most favourable position to accomplish the task and
never overload the torso with too much load in the form of weights.
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