The main purpose of the core is to stabilize the spine while the outer extremities are in motion. It is our base and our focus. Training the core is a fundamental aspect of any good strength program.
Your core can bend, stretch, bend sideways, and twist the torso. It also has the ability to withstand all of these movements by stabilizing the trunk against external resistance. And that’s often overlooked in strength programs. The more you can resist movement, the more you can move.
I don’t mind doing a few sit-ups here and there as long as you don’t overdo it and don’t have a back like Quasimodo. I have problems when all of your core training is focused on doing crappy sit-ups without any anti-movement training at the end of your workout.
Many people have a lordotic posture with excessive anterior pelvic tilts caused by a combination of weak core muscles and overactive hip flexors. Anti-extension exercises teach you to use your core muscles to stabilize the spine and resist the urge to overstretch your lower back, which puts less strain on the spine and hip flexors.
So, if you really want to start taking your core training to the next level, add some anti-extension exercises to your workout.
– Extended plank
Step into a regular plank and slide your feet back so your body is stretched out. With your elbows positioned in front of your shoulders, feel your core snap into place instantly. The greater the distance between the elbows and the feet, the greater the demand.
Squeeze your glutes together and keep your ribs pulled down like you are preparing to be punched in the stomach.
Take a 20-second break and then a 20-second break for 3-5 rounds.
2 – Extended Plank Push-Up
Same setup as above except you add a press this time. Think of this as a core-dominant, body-weight skull crusher.
The greater the distance between your elbows and your feet, the more difficult it becomes. So gradually work your way up to a stretched position as you get stronger.
3 – dead beetle
The nice thing about this drill is its scalability. There are tons of ways you can fix dead bugs, whether you’re a newbie or want to add to the challenge with off-loading.
No matter how you do it, make sure you cover:
- Back flat:No separation between the lower back and the floor.
- Ribs down:Get ready as if you were about to be pounded in the bowel to create as much core tension as possible.
- Exhale as you stretch:That cue came courtesy of Dean Somerset, who says, “The natural tendency during a heavy exhalation is to bend over. Since the dead bug is an anti-extension exercise, resist the urge to stretch, As You Extend Your Limbs Exhaling heavily as you extend helps you maintain flat back and core tension. “
- Inhale as you walk in:Reclaim your air when you return by inhaling through your stomach. Do not breathe in your chest and let your ribs flare up. This can lead to excessive curvature in your lower back and release tension from the core.
You can fix the dead bug by adding external loading with dumbbells and resistance bands.
Dumbbell dead beetle
Banded Dead Bug
Related: Total Core Training for Lifters
Related: Core Training That Isn’t Stupid