4 Moves To Build A Bulletproof Core

It's About The Slow Burn

A good workout should never feel rushed. Especially when it comes to core exercises.

The intent of a solid core workout is to not only build strength in your trunk but also stability and balance to protect the spine.

I like to think of going for the slow-burn when doing a core routine. Focus on breathing into your muscles, allowing the ribs and back to expand-- and then fully exhaling all the air in your lungs to create a corset around the spine.

This practice translates to having that added layer of protection during other movements. Of course, it comes in handy during squats and deadlifts, but also in everyday life. 

Many injuries happen during daily activities simply because we forgot that our body is working hard to perform a task. So getting in the groove of core bracing, during exercise can help trigger those same reactions when we need them most.

Take your time with each rep, focusing on what muscles are working, and whether or not you are remaining in or moving into the intended position.

Some exercises require strict rigidity (like planks and deadbugs), while others require controlled rotation or flexion (like Russian twists or crunches).

Whatever you do, make sure control is the name of the game. It's not a race to see how fast you can finish those reps. 

If you're ready to level-up your core routine, check out these 4 favorite moves with some variations. I recommend adding core work at least twice a week to your workout routine. 

Suspension Trainer Planks With Single and Double Knee Drive

 
 
 
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Notice in this set up your hips are higher than they are in a standard plank. This is perfectly fine simply because your feet are elevated from the floor. 

The key with this move is to control the drive so nothing moves but your knees and hips from extended to flexed positions. 

I like supersetting these moves, performing 2-3 sets of 5 each side with the single-knee drive, and then 2-3 sets of 8-10 with double-knee drive. 

These really get the core burning!

Hanging Psoas March With Ankle Weights

 

 
 
 
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Gotta give some love to the ankle weights! You can do these weighted or without, but again the focus is anti-rotation and anti-extension.

This means the only focus is driving the knee toward the torso while keeping the spine in place. 

Your grip strength is also challenged pretty hard in this exercise. 

I recommend adding 2-3 sets of 5-6 reps each side.

Quadruped Plank With Sliding Leg Extension

 
 
 
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I'm a big fan of the quadruped plank (or as I call them, baby bears). A lot of my clients and program members have a love/hate relationship with this position.

It's brutal on the core but translates well to strength in other areas. Learning to breathe well from this position does wonder for your squats.

This move challenges your core big time by adding on the leg extension component. Being able to control your trunk while your limbs move is no small task.

Try adding 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps each side.

Seated Landmine Anti-Rotation Press

 
 
 
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Our core can tend to get lazy when we sit. We tend to slump forward in our chairs and let gravity take over.

That's why I love doing seated work with weights, as this killer core move.

Notice in this video that I control the weight down, and I'm tapping more into the obliques and anterior serratus than doing a shoulder press.

It's a bit tricky to learn, but you'll feel a huge difference. 

This video shows a few different ways to execute this drill. 

I recommend picking one of these versions and adding 2-3 sets of 5 reps each side.

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