To constantly improve your midline strength, you’ll want to maintain proper posture throughout your day and focus on improving your form in the gym. Squeezing your butt, pulling your rib cage down, bracing your belly (like you’re about to be punched in the gut), and maintaing a neutral spine during your lifts will help you build core strength and awareness. Correctly responding to these coaching cues will help you become fitter, stronger, faster and leaner.
The best way to strengthen your midline, or core is by properly and regularly doing compound strength training movements as well as power and speed work. The best way to see your abs is to improve your nutrition, but I’m not even talking about that in this post. I’m talking about improving strength in the area between your shoulders and thighs, including your hips.
I’m talking about what you can do to maximize your fitness, reduce pain and injury and improve your performance.
The exercises that are most important to do are; variations of squats (zercher, front, back, overhead), deadlifts (rdls, sumo, standard), presses (push, jerk, strict, bench), cleans, snatches, pushups, burpees, swings, rows, pull-ups, lunges, swings, sprints, carries, sled work, and jumping drills. But, in order to be great at those movements, you’ll need a strong, stable core.
To improve your fitness and perform better, you’ll want to add accessory ab, low back and glute training to your program. Just doing major lifts and met cons isn’t enough. If you don’t prioritize core exercises your form will end up breaking down, you’ll end up sore or hurt and you will be losing power as your midsection fatigues.
Top 10 ways to strengthen your Anterior Core
1. Front Rack Holds or Carries
3. Hollow Rocks and Hollow Holds
5. V Ups or Hollow to Tucks
6. Strict Knees To Elbow Or Toes To Bar
7. Turkish Getups
8. L Sits & variations
9. Barbell Rollouts
10. GHD Situps & Holds
Top 10 ways to strengthen your Posterior Core
1. Bird Dogs
2. Bridges and Hip Thrusts
3. Superman Holds (on ground or GHD)
4. Good Mornings
5. GHD Superman Holds
6. GHD Hip Extensions
7. Romanian Deadlifts & Single Leg RDLs
8. Reverse Hypers
9. GHD Glute Ham Raises
10. Arch Rocks
I suggest doing 2-4 of these drills at least 3x a week. You could do an alternating EMOM (every minute on the minute) at the end of your training and go back and forth between an anterior and posterior core drill.
Example 1: On Even Minutes – 10 reverse hypers, on Odd Minutes – 20 hollow rocks – Alternating back and forth each minute for 10 minutes (5 sets each)
Example 2: On Even Minutes – 30 seconds L Sit or tuck hold, on Odd Minutes – 30 seconds of hip thrusts – Alternating back and forth for 8 minutes (4 sets each)
Example 3: Every 2 Minutes – Do a Front Rack Hold of your 1RM Front Squat for 30-45 seconds – Do this for 10 minutes (5 sets) – Once you’re successful with that for all 5 rounds, increase weight by 10lbs for the following week’s attempt.
3 sets of 10-15 reps or 30-45 second holds is beneficial, so aim to work these in as a priority in your training. If you’re core isn’t strong, you won’t be getting the most out of your other strength and conditioning work.
Which of these do you do regularly in your training? Which ones are you going to add this week?
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