Core training can get a bit tedious. Crunch this, plank that, blah blah blah. As good as these options are, there are more variations out there that will help you create a strong, stable midsection that also looks great.
But I’ve got 5 great core training exercises for you to try. Be warned though, they are advanced options, so since I’m such a nice guy, I’ve given you regressed versions to get you started.
This upgrade of the Pallof press comes via Nick Tumminello (Instagram – @nick_tumminello), and as well as the anti rotation component, there is a pressing component too.
This is an improvement on the Pallof press, which I like but I find that clients will often cheat by locking out their knees and leaning away from the weight stack to stabilise, instead of using their core and hips to do so. No such option here though. If you don’t create a stable base the weight is going to twist you right round and you’ll lose position. You get a bonus pressing movement added in too.
I’ve been programming 2-4 sets of 10-12 reps per side.
TRX single leg fallouts
This single leg TRX fallout comes from Lee Boyce (Instagram – @coachleeboyce). The raised knee puts your hips into a posteriorly tilted position, reducing the likelihood that you’ll arch your low back as you fall (in a controlled manner) into the movement. Squeezing your glute on the supporting leg helps maintain your strong low back position.
The increased level of coordination and the single leg base makes this a tough option, you have to resist extension and rotation throughout the movement.
2-4 sets of 6-8 reps per side work well.
TRX renegade row
Another from Lee Boyce! The renegade row is a great exercise often butchered by those who try to lift too heavy and forget that it’s a core stability exercise not a “how much can you row” exercise.
By using the TRX to make the supporting arm unstable, you are simply unable to go heavy if you can’t stabilise. Take a wider base than normal and get ready to work harder on your supporting side than your rowing side. Once again you are resisting extension at the low back and rotation due to the missing point of contact.
2-4 sets of 8-10 reps per side work well. You can regress slightly by moving the feet forward a little to take some of the load off the supporting arm. don’t come up too far though or you’ll lose the effectiveness of the exercise.
These come courtesy of Ben Bruno (Instagram @benbrunotraining). The arc created by having one end of the bar anchored adds a rotational aspect to the standard rollout. To regress this exercise you can bend your knees a little to shorten the lever arm and still get a great training effect throughout your core.
The upside is you get more bang for your buck than the standard version, the downside is you have to do both sides…
Sets of 4-8 per side on these!
Hollow body presses
Combining the hollow body position with a press not only makes you work to resist extension but adds a rotational component via the press. You’ll sit a little higher than a typical hollow body and focus on controlling the press throughout.\
Instead of the landmine, you could use a dumbbell to reduce the load, though since the load isn’t fixed you’ll find it just as tough to control your position.
Sets of 6-8 per side work pretty well here.
Give these a try in your next training session and let me know how you get on.