Two areas i find the adult population deficient in (through my coaching experience) is mobility & core strength! These are both essential to moving, being more efficient with exercises, staying pain free and getting the most out of life!
What’s really alarming is that i find most people’s perception of core training consists of a few sets of sit ups & plank holds, and then if it burns a little, job done!! There’s so much more to core training then ‘sit-ups, plank holds & even hollow holds’ which will not only make your core significantly stronger (and transfer to other skills) but also help improve your body awareness and control.
Checklist approach to help you think about your core workout:
- Engaging – the entire body and especially the key muscle groups being targeted.
- Correct technique – make sure you’re scaling exercises to your current level of strength and not using your lower back when your core should be engaged (posterior pelvic hip tilt is key).
- Full package – ensure you work the entire core package. Not just the abdominal area but also the obliques (internal & external), lower back, glutes, hip flexors etc.
- Time under tension – this is huge! The best way to get your core stronger is holding positions for longer (with good technique). I show you below (with a core workout example), how you can use a sequence to make your core workouts more enjoyable and impactful!
- Changing it up – the body gets use to the same old exercise! Throw a spanner in the works and change it up with different exercises, combinations (like the sequence below) and rep schemes to really test that core out and put the body under a bit more stress (which will help get you stronger).
Core Flows & Sequences
I personally love to program core sequences in my gymnastics strength classes (and online programs) which involve combining several different core exercises with a specific structured rep scheme. This makes it interesting, keeps the time under tension going and makes it more impactful (vs stand alone exercises).
I guess having been a gymnast for most of my life, i personally get bored of doing hollow holds all the time haha – who else does?? Hence i tend to apply the same rationale to all my members and make life harder for myself by always programming unique sequences – that can help get you results!
Transfer your hard work across to other skills & exercises
When ever i program & coach it’s with the real intent to make sure it transfers across to other exercises & skills over time – everyone likes to progress right!! I’ll start with the all important key foundations first to build a base and then start adding on top of that. The goal is to have you (in 3-6 months time) strong enough to use your whole body across every exercise more efficiently and even hold different handstand positions!