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My Favorite Core Exercises

Having a strong core doesn’t necessarily mean visible “6-pack” abs, but it’s still important to train your core in a variety of ways for a number of reasons. Preventing back pain, keeping good posture, lifting heavier weights and getting overall stronger are a few reasons to keep a strong core. Below I will list some of my favorite exercises as well as how to properly do them. Remember….VISIBLE ABS mean having a LOW BODYFAT PERCENTAGE..so diet plays a huge role in this. I recommend still training your core 2-4x a week at the end of a weights session for 5-15 minutes!

HOLLOW BODY HOLD

This is a great video demonstrating the basic hollow body hold. You start on your back with lower back flat to the floor ( very important). Then you raise your legs to “tabletop” position and raise up the head and shoulders. Abs pull in tight and you hold this position up to 30 seconds, and progress to the legs being straight out and down as you get stronger. From here you can progress to hollow body rocks…video up next.

HOLLOW BODY ROCKS

Just like HOLLOW BODY HOLD, but you have advanced to a rocking motion with arms extended by the ears. Again, lower back stays flat and abs are contracted throughout exercise.

SIDE PLANKS

These are simple…just get on your elbow on one side and full stack the feet if you can. Squeeze the bottom side (side closest to the floor) as hard as you can and stay lifted. Hold up to :45 or 1:00! 2-3 sets per side. To make harder, abduct the leg on top (keeping it straight) for 5-15 reps!

Other core exercises I do involve the HOLLOW BODY HOLD:

Hollow body with FLUTTER KICKING THE LEGS, holding a weight straight up in the air

Hollow body position while raising the legs and lowering, but do not touch floor in between reps. Hold a weight straight up in the air towards ceiling to make harder.

And also, ABDOMINAL WHEEL! Go as far out as you can while maintaining good form and do not arch lower spine.

Other core exercises I do…CABLE CRUNCH with a rope – focusing on squeezing the abs together hard and contracting the core and not pulling with the arms…

Regular planks with weighted vest as long as you can hold (on elbows and on hands)

HANGING KNEE RAISES…progression/addition is TOES TO BAR…

Straight leg raises – while holding a bar or

L HOLDS/hangs

Watch this video too that is very helpful in explaining mistakes to avoid with hollow body work:

Another great video on increasing HIP FLEXOR STRENGTH for L-sits!

That’s it for today! These exercises hit the lower abs, upper abs as well as transverse abdominis to create amazing core strength! Now get to work!!

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