Most people think of planks and crunches when they think about training the core. The midsection, the core, the lumbar and lower Thoracic spine with all the surrounding muscles of the hip and the diaphragm need to do more than just hold in a static position for a few seconds. A crunch or a plank is not the answer.
The core needs to work to stabilise your body when your arms and legs apply force against your surroundings. It needs to provide efficient force transmission from your legs to your arms when you’re punching, throwing, pushing or pulling. It helps in conserving energy while you run or walk with your arms swinging. The kinetic energy of your arms can be redirected to your legs and vice versa to redistribute effort among the limbs, maintain balance, change direction.
The core needs to respond to challenges by tightening and relaxing, in the correct sequence, with the correct force and speed. I fail to see how that can be done consciously. The processing power required, cannot be supplied by the conscious, logical, methodical mind. It has to be automatic. Reflex arcs, spinal cord segments, local muscle, nerves and fascia.
A system that is constantly stressed under dynamic conditions needs to be trained under dynamic conditions. A plank or a crunch will not help.
I don’t “train my core”. I incorporate movements that involve the whole body, all four limbs. The core has to keep up.
I’ll list out my favourites.
Kettlebell swings, cleans and snatches are my staple. If I am regular with these, the rest of the exercises are not really required.
1. Hindu pushups
6. Single leg stance /balance work
7. Loaded carries – farmers walk, waiter carry, rack carry (unilateral and bilateral)
8. Club bell training
9. Bulgarian bag spins
10. Animal flow exercises
Will try and put up videos with examples one by one.