There is so much confusion about THE core.
Everyone wants a "stronger" core, and yet very few people ask what does that really mean?
The (almost) mythical “core” is a dynamic system of strength and stability from your neck to your hips with efficient breathing.
There is core beyond crunches and planks.
Your core needs to function effectively at all times in order for you to perform a variety of movements.
It's not an exercise.
It's your bodies ability to perform any motion, at any one time, safely and effectively.
Therefore, it needs to be trained that way.
We’ve put together a 2x2x2 multiplanar routine that will challenge your core, which is to say your entire system.
- With a band secured around a high bar, such as a pull-up bar, stand with your side facing the band. Reach both arms out to the side to grab the band and while holding the band, step back into a lunge position with one leg. Alternate back and forth between legs.
- Now, with two bands secured to a high pull-up bar, stand in between both bands and place your hands into the loops of the bands. Press down on the bands with your palms (face-down) and sit back into a squat. Repeat this several times. The resistance created with your hands pressing into bands deceivingly works your core.
- This time, secure a band around a pole. Come into a plank position and reach the arm that is furthest from the pole underneath of you to grab the other end of the band. Pull the band close into your chest and rotate your torso away from the pole in the opposite direction. Repeat this motion several times on side to work your oblique muscles.
- Keeping that band wrapped around the pole, come into a side plank resting on your forearm. Reach your free arm out to grab the band in front of you and pull the band away from the pole, close to your body, making sure that arm stays fully extended. Repeat this movement several times on each side.
- Come into a full plank position with your arms full extended as if you were going to do a push-up, and using either bands or muscle-up rings, nestle your feet into the loops of the hanging equipment. Gently come onto your forearms, one arm at a time, then push back up into fully extended arms, one arm at a time. Alternate back and forth between being on your forearms and having your arms fully extended.
- Using those same bands or muscle-up rings, this time, place your hands in the loops of the hanging equipment and extend your feet back behind you in an elevated plank position. Reach your leg out to the side, rotating your hip open, and hold that leg out. Bring the leg back down and then do the same on the other leg, alternating back and forth between legs.
At first glance, these movements may not seem like traditional core exercises, but after a few moments in each one, you will soon realize they do indeed challenge your redefined idea of core.