This month, expert trainer Jean-Claude Vacassin, owner of W10 Personal Training Gym, helps you get a well- conditioned core to boost performance and prevent injury.
1. STIR THE POT
BENEFITS: Those who already have some good foundational strength and want to kick things up a notch should try this as it’s one of the best moves to step up your planks and maximise your core development.
Assume a plank position, resting your elbows on a stability ball and keeping your body in a straight line.
Brace your abs and keep your glutes tight so your back doesn’t sag.
Move your forearms in a circular fashion, maintaining
a rock-solid position the entire time.
To make it easier, widen your stance.
To make it more challenging, move move your feet closer together.
Repeat the desired reps on one side; then repeat the circular
motion in the other direction.
2. HANGING KNEE RAISE
BENEFITS: The hanging knee raise is a core- strengthening exercise that targets your lower abs, hip flexors and lower back. It can add variety to your ab workout while also taking it to a more advanced level.
Grip the bar with your hands around shoulder-width apart.
Once you’re hanging with your feet slightly off the floor and your arms straight, slowly pull your knees up towards your chest, keeping your legs together.
Pause for a second, then slowly lower your knees back to the starting position.
Repeat for the desired reps.
To get the most benefit out of this exercise, do it as slowly as you can and don’t swing.
3. LANDMINE ROTATIONS
BENEFITS: This explosive motion works your whole body, targeting your core. You’ll be boosting your abs, lats, spinal erectors, hips, glutes, legs and shoulder muscles.
Position a weights bar into a landmine (a metal tube on a pivot system) or securely anchor it in a corner.
Load the bar to an appropriate weight.
Raise the bar from the floor, taking it to about shoulder height with both hands.
Make sure your arms are extended in front of you. Adopt a wide stance. This will be your starting position.
Keeping your shoulders and hips squared forward, bring the weight across your body to the right, then immediately back to the left to complete one rep.
Continue rotating from side to side.
4. PALOF PRESS
BENEFITS: Your core’s mainly a stabiliser, not a primary mover and this move trains it in that way.
Adjust a cable or attach a band at chest level.
Grasp the handle/band with both hands and stand to the side of the attachment point, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, a slight bend in the knees and chest out. Pull the cable/band towards your chest so there’s tension in it.
Press the cable or band straight out in front of your chest, resisting the sideways pull by tightening your abdominal area.
Hold for five to seven seconds and slowly release the cable/band back to your chest – that’s one rep.
Do 10 reps, then swap sides.