Core, How and How Often?

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    Core, How and How Often?


    So, for those of us who need to strengthen their core (which is probably everyone, especially me lol); how do you prefer to do it?

    Exercises you prefer, beginning or end of session, and do you do it every time you train or less?
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    I like to do them after lifting but before post workout cardio. I'll hit it twice a week usually Monday and Thursday. I really like hanging leg raises, Russian twists with a ball and try to work in some other exercises but those are my favorite. I've also done the Ab ripper x workout at home and feel that is good to go through from time to time.
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    Good topic. I try hitting something at least 3x a week, even if its just doing planks in my living room. I intend to hit them on my lower days and on one of my 'off' days when time permits. I've grown fond of ab rollouts with a cambered bar and banded standing crunches recently. I'll dangle an orange or blue band, get into a squat stance while holding the band, and explode downwards with it. Just don't let it slip from your hands...then that's called autoerotic asphyxiation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean1332 View Post
    Good topic. I try hitting something at least 3x a week, even if its just doing planks in my living room. I intend to hit them on my lower days and on one of my 'off' days when time permits. I've grown fond of ab rollouts with a cambered bar and banded standing crunches recently. I'll dangle an orange or blue band, get into a squat stance while holding the band, and explode downwards with it. Just don't let it slip from your hands...that's called autoerotic asphyxiation.

    I'm definetly subbed to gain some more knowledge on it.
    I need bands

    I think I'm going to begin doing them heavy on both lower days and then do a repetition type work on Sundays (timed planks, etc.)


    I already do a good deal of walks for core (farmers, suitcase, etc.) but I'm going to increase my variety and add in a lot more direct core work now.

    Along with PC, but that's a topic for another thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post

    I need bands

    I think I'm going to begin doing them heavy on both lower days and then do a repetition type work on Sundays (timed planks, etc.)

    I already do a good deal of walks for core (farmers, suitcase, etc.) but I'm going to increase my variety and add in a lot more direct core work now.

    Along with PC, but that's a topic for another thread
    I've found my orange EFS lights to be very versatile..stretching, flys, pulls downs, Pushdowns, mobility...I've got an onyx mini as well. Def worth the price...maybe EFS will have a sale on them again
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    2-4x/week for about 10-20 working sets per week. DB side bends, cable/band standing crunches, and rollouts are my staples, but I've recently re-incorporated band trunk rotations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    2-4x/week for about 10-20 working sets per week. DB side bends, cable/band standing crunches, and rollouts are my staples, but I've recently re-incorporated band trunk rotations.
    Do you generally keep it low rep/high intensity or vary it based upon the type if movement?
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    Planks are always my go to for developing core strength.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    Do you generally keep it low rep/high intensity or vary it based upon the type if movement?
    It's usually in the 10-15 rep range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    So, for those of us who need to strengthen their core (which is probably everyone, especially me lol); how do you prefer to do it?

    Exercises you prefer, beginning or end of session, and do you do it every time you train or less?
    Never.

    Heavy Squats and heavy standing overhead work are what have worked for me. Gymnastics also helped a lot, but I haven't done any regular trunk flexion work for years.
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    Weighted planks are my favorites, but I'm growing fond of the cambered bar rollout AND the dangling chain front squat hold.

    I'm trying to really bring my core up, so I'm 4x/week right now; do them on all training days.
    Don't worry, man, someday I'ma be nobody too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PROness View Post
    Never.

    Heavy Squats and heavy standing overhead work are what have worked for me. Gymnastics also helped a lot, but I haven't done any regular trunk flexion work for years.
    There's a hell of a lot more to core work than simple trunk flexion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swanson52 View Post
    Weighted planks are my favorites, but I'm growing fond of the cambered bar rollout AND the dangling chain front squat hold.

    I'm trying to really bring my core up, so I'm 4x/week right now; do them on all training days.
    You just have someone put a plate on your back and hold as long as possible? Or timed sets?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    Planks are always my go to for developing core strength.
    This. Planks are number 1 in my opinion. Hold a plank for as long as you can and your whole body will be shaking. Then you can really feel your core working
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    You just have someone put a plate on your back and hold as long as possible? Or timed sets?
    Yeah have someone place a weight on and go as long as I can. I typically add weight if I can go over 40".
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    Interesting topic...

    I have been hitting them 3x a week in regular workouts.

    Think I need to add in Planks- seems that is something that many here like.
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    If it is really a week point I'd say with every session if possible, but watching overall weekly volume. Currently I am hitting them hard on my two GPP/Prehab/Neglected(akaWeak like my abs lol) sessions a week.
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    I don't do very much trunk or hip flexion. I prefer to work the rectus abs via anti-extension (i.e.: roll outs).

    We can divide this into the local vs. global core. Local core are the deep (spinal in many cases) stabilizers that produce very little gross movements. These are postural muscles, and exhibit different levels of tone based upon position and load.

    Global would be the muscles that are [generally] more superficial, and produce more gross movements (trunk flexion, extension, rotation, etc.).

    Imbalances between the two are often what leads to injury, and often also what limits performance (or technique) during heavy load bearing movements. Generally, the imbalance goes global > local.

    I break the core movements down into something like this:

    Static (planks)
    Anti-extension/flexion (roll outs)
    Anti-rotation (pallof press)
    Rotation
    Flexion/extension
    Lateral flexion/extension

    My suggestion is to try and place a heavy emphasis on the statics and anti movements, working some form of them every other day. Then do rotation and trunk flexion once a week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    I don't do very much trunk or hip flexion. I prefer to work the rectus abs via anti-extension (i.e.: roll outs).

    We can divide this into the local vs. global core. Local core are the deep (spinal in many cases) stabilizers that produce very little gross movements. These are postural muscles, and exhibit different levels of tone based upon position and load.

    Global would be the muscles that are [generally] more superficial, and produce more gross movements (trunk flexion, extension, rotation, etc.).

    Imbalances between the two are often what leads to injury, and often also what limits performance (or technique) during heavy load bearing movements. Generally, the imbalance goes global > local.

    I break the core movements down into something like this:

    Static (planks)
    Anti-extension/flexion (roll outs)
    Anti-rotation (pallof press)
    Rotation
    Flexion/extension
    Lateral flexion/extension

    My suggestion is to try and place a heavy emphasis on the statics and anti movements, working some form of them every other day. Then do rotation and trunk flexion once a week.
    Thanks Jason! Ill definitely start doing that.
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    Surprised this hasn't been posted yet:
    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...ore_training_1
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    Can you explain the anti rotation day are you supposed to do every variation of the pallid press
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj123 View Post
    Can you explain the anti rotation day are you supposed to do every variation of the pallid press
    Pallof Press*
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    Anti-rotation is resisting against rotation at the torso. Imagine wrestling and trying to keep your body somewhat straight while your opponent is attempting to gain leverage (as a quick example).

    Master the pallof press first, then you can start adding in variation to progress based upon sport specific goals. For most, the pallof press is good. For baseball infielders, the ability to resist rotation is what allows them to scoop up a ball on the run and throw it to first without falling over, so working the pallof from the lunge and other variations will be very useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Surprised this hasn't been posted yet:
    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...ore_training_1
    sorry, i post that one a lot. just hadnt gotten to it yet.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    Anti-rotation is resisting against rotation at the torso. Imagine wrestling and trying to keep your body somewhat straight while your opponent is attempting to gain leverage (as a quick example).

    Master the pallof press first, then you can start adding in variation to progress based upon sport specific goals. For most, the pallof press is good. For baseball infielders, the ability to resist rotation is what allows them to scoop up a ball on the run and throw it to first without falling over, so working the pallof from the lunge and other variations will be very useful.
    I always did the kneeling pallof but I never had one day just doing anti rotation I just wanted to know for this certain routine should I do all 3 variation and how long of holds per side and how many sets of each
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj123 View Post
    I always did the kneeling pallof but I never had one day just doing anti rotation I just wanted to know for this certain routine should I do all 3 variation and how long of holds per side and how many sets of each
    I wouldn't dedicate an entire day to anti-rotation. 1-2 exercises in the workout, 1-2 times a week. Just like you would rotation, anti-flexion, static, etc.

    I generally prescribe 2-3 sets of 8 with 2 second holds per rep.
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    abs twice a week, on sqt. days its hanging leg rise, of DL days its using a landmine with a twist
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    Not so much anymore because I've given up my more athletic endeavors and will stick to owning old men in flag football, but I used to try to incorporate unilateral pressing as a combo pressing + "anti" movement. 1 arm DB bench can be challenging, 1 arm o/h press (I prefer the landmine press if you have access). They're good bang for your buck movements
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    Haven't had sore abs the next day in awhile until I switched my routine based on the ar***** this is what I came up with let me know what you think

    -Ab Wheel Rollouts 3X8-18
    -Offset Waiters Walks 3 Sets 50 Yards Per Side
    -Band Resisted Jackknifes 3X8-16
    -Pallof Press 3X8 2 Sec Hold Per Side
    -Kettlebell Windmills 3X16 Per Side
    -Russian Twist 3X50
    -Front Plank 1 Min Both Sides 1 Min Each Front Again 1 Min
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj123 View Post
    Haven't had sore abs the next day in awhile until I switched my routine based on the ar***** this is what I came up with let me know what you think

    -Ab Wheel Rollouts 3X8-18
    -Offset Waiters Walks 3 Sets 50 Yards Per Side
    -Band Resisted Jackknifes 3X8-16
    -Pallof Press 3X8 2 Sec Hold Per Side
    -Kettlebell Windmills 3X16 Per Side
    -Russian Twist 3X50
    -Front Plank 1 Min Both Sides 1 Min Each Front Again 1 Min
    So you are doing 18 sets then several minutes of planks. Are you training for an ab endurance event? And being sore is not a good indicator of a good workout.

    I would highly recommend reading that tnation article. It will answer your questions. If you have anymore, read it again.

    If you dont listen to anything else remember this, stop majoring in the minors.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    Its the roll out type work that will always leave you sore. The roll outs are an eccentric movement, and will induce the most muscle damage. Roll outs and dragon flags are a sure way to have sore abs the next day, but (as mentioned above) DOMS is not always an indicator of progression....
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    I like to hit my core twice a week but i hit it kinda hard with 10x10 leg lifts and decline twist sit ups and always on leg day. Not sure why on the last part just feels good to finish legs with some good core work.
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    Fancy core work


    I've read a lot of posts describing days or hours dedicated solely to core work. My thoughts are as follows.

    1. Strong core is essential.
    2. Dedicated "core" exercises are often not needed and inefficient.
    3. I suggest for a strong core SQUAT heavy and often. Preferably front squats if core stability and strength are goals. Balance 315 or even 225 on traps for 3+ reps and then evaluate what worked core harder that or your fancy Russian plank or weighted plank. Another goodie is overhead squats.
    5. I guarantee someone who can front squat heavy has and will develop more core strength then someone who does legs bare minimum and devotes time to "core work"
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    Quote Originally Posted by SURVIVALPRICE View Post
    I've read a lot of posts describing days or hours dedicated solely to core work. My thoughts are as follows.

    1. Strong core is essential.
    2. Dedicated "core" exercises are often not needed and inefficient.
    3. I suggest for a strong core SQUAT heavy and often. Preferably front squats if core stability and strength are goals. Balance 315 or even 225 on traps for 3+ reps and then evaluate what worked core harder that or your fancy Russian plank or weighted plank. Another goodie is overhead squats.
    5. I guarantee someone who can front squat heavy has and will develop more core strength then someone who does legs bare minimum and devotes time to "core work"
    I do not disagree that heavy, free weight squats and deadlifts will stress the core musculature; however, I tend to disagree that this is all you need.

    The major issue comes in developing and strengthening the deep stabilizer muscles in a way that will enhance the ability to squat and deadlift. This is especially important when there is an imbalance in strength between the global and local core, as there is in many strength athletes. And this is where bridge work becomes essential, in developing the local core.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SURVIVALPRICE View Post
    I've read a lot of posts describing days or hours dedicated solely to core work. My thoughts are as follows.

    1. Strong core is essential.
    2. Dedicated "core" exercises are often not needed and inefficient.
    3. I suggest for a strong core SQUAT heavy and often. Preferably front squats if core stability and strength are goals. Balance 315 or even 225 on traps for 3+ reps and then evaluate what worked core harder that or your fancy Russian plank or weighted plank. Another goodie is overhead squats.
    5. I guarantee someone who can front squat heavy has and will develop more core strength then someone who does legs bare minimum and devotes time to "core work"
    I agree very much so with this but enjoy some core work and that is part of the reason I do wrap it in with my leg day. But I feel there is some need to target muscles specifically at some point and that's the other reason I do my core.
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    On my Off days 4x/week;
    30 weighted crunches using 10lb plate (10 reps each left/middle/right = 30 crunches)
    30 weighted leg raises using 10lb plate (10 reps each left/middle/right = 30 leg raises)
    60 second plank
    45 second side-plank x2
    Takes about 5 minutes total, maybe lil' more
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    I actually agree with you when it come to more experienced lifters who have achieved a truly strong core from compound lifts like mentioned. Then it can be perfected with focus on minor improvements to stability and imbalances. I just feel a majority of lifters I see in many gyms think they can skip the true strength builders and focus on doing 30 sec or min long planks and get strong core... They will get real good at planks sure but true pick up heavy weight and lift it strength wont be achieved
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    Quote Originally Posted by aLinux View Post
    On my Off days 4x/week;30 weighted crunches using 10lb plate (10 reps each left/middle/right = 30 crunches)30 weighted leg raises using 10lb plate (10 reps each left/middle/right = 30 leg raises)60 second plank45 second side-plank x2Takes about 5 minutes total, maybe lil' more
    U should do some research on crunches. They are not very good from a biomechancical standpoint for spine health and adding weights would not help. Your spine can take compressive force. It's designed for that. What's not good is compressive and shear forces acting together which is what a crunch when executed in an exhausted state can readily cause.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SURVIVALPRICE View Post
    I actually agree with you when it come to more experienced lifters who have achieved a truly strong core from compound lifts like mentioned. Then it can be perfected with focus on minor improvements to stability and imbalances. I just feel a majority of lifters I see in many gyms think they can skip the true strength builders and focus on doing 30 sec or min long planks and get strong core... They will get real good at planks sure but true pick up heavy weight and lift it strength wont be achieved

    Excellent point made.
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    bumping for good info!
  

  
 

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