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Complete Core Training…

Yes, it’s one of everyone’s favorite subjects: core training! Even more important than nice-looking abs, are strong abs. Abs that protect your back, improve your posture, and help you move lots of heavy weight!

Check out the video below where I should you four of my favorite exercises for your core.

P.S.  What I did not address in the video that is perhaps, the most important element of core training, is proper breathing. GGS Advisory Board member and physical therapist Ann Wendel goes over this in more detail in her article on proper core training. For even more on the topic of breathing, check out this article by Mike Robertson!

1. Anti-Extension Exercise: Leg Lowering

  • Keep your low back “pinned” to the ground.
  • Straighten your legs as much as you can.
  • Flex your toes back towards your body.
  • Very slowly lower and raise your leg.
  • Stop if you feel your lower back releasing pressure from the ground.
  • Shoot for 2 seconds down, 1-2 seconds up.
  • You can bend the knee or use a band if it bothers your back.

2. Hip Flexion with Neutral Spine Exercise: Slow Mountain Climber

  •  Assume a solid push-up position with a neutral spine.
  • Slowly flex your knee and your hip to bring your knee towards your chest.
  • Do NOT let your foot touch the ground when your knee is bent.
  • Maintain a neutral spine the whole time.
  • Stop if you feel your butt about to tuck under.
  • To increase the difficulty of this exercise, hold your knee up for 2-5 seconds.

3. Anti-Rotation Exercise: Pallof Press

  •  Place a band or a cable with a handle attachment around sternum height.
  • Assume a relatively close stance.
  • Stand tall with your shoulders back and down, and ribs towards your pelvis.
  • Pull the band or cable so that it’s at your sternum, and pulling you slightly to the right or left.
  • Slowly press the band or cable attachment out in front of you until you feel a strong pull.
  • Hold your arms out for 1 second, and then “row” it back towards your body.
  • Keep your shoulders and eyes level the whole time.

4. Anti-Lateral Flexion Exercise: Kettlebell Suitcase Carry

  • Pick up a kettlebell, dumbbell or farmer’s walk handle of appropriate of weight.
  • Hold your arm out about 1 inch from your body with your shoulders back and down.
  • Maintain a braced core with your ribs down.
  • Slowly walk while maintaining an upright torso and level shoulders.
  • Walk for the allotted distance, switch hands, and then repeat.

Further Reading: 3 Carry Variations For Your Core

There you go!  Four of my favorite exercises for complete core training! Try them out and let me know what you think!

Although proper core training is important, it is just one part of a balanced strength and conditioning program. If you’re interested in a holistic strength and conditioning program that’s fun, effective, and safe, that’s our specialty!

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About The Author: Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith, CSCS is co-founder and woman-in-charge at Girls Gone Strong, and creator of The Coaching & Training Women Academy, home for the world's most comprehensive, evidence-based, women-specific coaching certifications. A former figure competitor and powerlifter who has dedicated the last 15 years of her life to helping women achieve their goals and feel more comfortable and at home in their bodies. Learn more about Molly on her website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.