When training the core, it is important to approach your training program from a total body perspective. Hence the reason we tend to refer to the core as everything from nose to toes. The three exercises featured this week are excellent examples of the “nose to toes” core concept. You will train across all three planes of the body (i.e., sagittal/frontal/transverse) creating a total body core strengthening outcome. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Equipment required: moderate kettlebell, slings for the hanging knee raises and a stable horizontal bar to anchor the slings and a TRX Suspension System.
Prior to performing each exercise, pack your shoulders down/back, lift your rib cage off the waistline, compress the abdomen pulling the navel toward the spine and engage your pelvic floor muscles.
Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise on two-three non-consecutive days/week unless otherwise noted.
Modified Turkish Get Ups – moderate kettlebell – sitting on the floor, position the body onto the right hip which will make it the “bottom” hip, place the right hand on the floor, keep the right leg straight and parallel to the floor and the left leg flexed at the knee joint with that foot on the floor and the left knee facing the ceiling behind the extended right leg. Rack the kettlebell on the outside of the left wrist so the “bell” rests on the wrist to forearm. Engaging the lateral flexors of the right torso and pushing upward with the legs and the right arm, press the body up as you extend the left arm at the elbow joint toward the ceiling. Then, lower back down so that the right arm flexes slightly at the elbow joint, the hips lower almost touching the floor and the left arm lowers to beginning position. Perform on the opposite side. *Trains the nose to toes core with a concentration on the frontal/sagittal plane stabilizers.
Hanging Knee Raises – arm slings w/carabineer – place a stable step platform/plyo box under a high horizontal bar, then place the slings onto the horizontal bar. Stand on the step/box and place the underside of the upper arms into the slings, holding onto the narrow segment of the sling right beneath the carabineers. Step off of the step/box and allow the body/legs to suspend pushing the box out of the way with your foot. Then, compressing the abdomen, engaging the hip flexors (anterior hip), draw the knees up toward the hip joint to approximately 90 degrees of hip flexion. Return to the fully suspended lower body position and repeat. There is no swinging to gain height, do not go above hip height as this may strain the lumbar spine and adds no value to the exercise. If you begin to slip down in the slings, reposition as this may strain the shoulder joint. *Trains the entire nose to toes core.
Mountain Climbers 4x/Atomics 4x – TRX – kneeling down facing away from the TRX anchor point, place the feet in the straps, top of foot facing the floor, assume a full plank position and then perform 4 mountain climbers (R/L) then back to a plank and tuck the knees in aiming to the R, then into to the L (atomic knee tucks). Perform 4 rounds and then repeat. *Trains the nose to toes core.