Tag Archives: core strengthening

Strengthen Your Core with the Plank

24 Aug

EX+plankcore-abdominal-and-lower-back-exercises-23[1]The plank is one of my favorite core strengthening exercises.  Most variations require little or no equipment and can be done anywhere.  Additionally, the plank works your entire core — shoulders to hips — and not just your abs.

The basic plank is done with hands (or forearms) and feet on the floor, as if you were in the pushup “up” position (pictured).  Here are several variations of the plank exercise that can further challenge and strengthen your core musculature:

  • One arm elevated
  • One leg elevated
  • One arm and one (opposite) leg elevated
  • Side plank
  • Hands on BOSU ball (flat side up)
  • Feet on physioball
  • Hands (or forearms) on physioball
  • Alternating, opposite elbow to knee
  • TRX plank with feet suspended
  • TRX plank with arms suspended
  • Weighted plank (wearing a weighted vest, or with a weight plate on your back)

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Strengthen Your Core with the Plank

28 Jun

EX+plankcore-abdominal-and-lower-back-exercises-23[1]The plank is one of my favorite core strengthening exercises.  Most variations require little or no equipment and can be done anywhere.  Additionally, the plank works your entire core — shoulders to hips — and not just your abs.

The basic plank is done with hands (or forearms) and feet on the floor, as if you were in the pushup “up” position (pictured).  Here are several variations of the plank exercise that can further challenge and strengthen your core musculature:

  • One arm elevated
  • One leg elevated
  • One arm and one (opposite) leg elevated
  • Side plank
  • Hands on BOSU ball (flat side up)
  • Feet on physioball
  • Hands (or forearms) on physioball
  • Alternating, opposite elbow to knee
  • TRX plank with feet suspended
  • TRX plank with arms suspended

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Master the Deadlift to Improve Athletic Performance

30 Nov

Want to get stronger, faster, and more powerful?  One exercise — the deadlift — can help you accomplish that, according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Exerting force against the ground is the foundation for basic sports movements like running, jumping, and throwing.  The deadlift effectively strengthens your core and lower body (back, hips, and legs), increasing the amount of force you can generate against the ground.  Regardless of the sport you play, this exercise can help you improve your game.

Watch Josh Cribbs perform the deadlift exercise.

As with any exercise, technique is important.  When performing the deadlift, it’s important to ensure that your hips and legs, and not your back, are doing most of the work.  Focus on hip drive.  Here are some tips for proper execution of this exercise:

  • Assume a stance with feet about hip width apart
  • Grip the bar with hands just wider than shoulder width
  • In “down” position, keep bar close to shins and hips pushed back
  • Arms straight, chest and chin up
  • Push hips forward and straighten knees to stand up
  • Squeeze glutes
  • Keep back straight and bar close to body
  • Lower bar to ground by reversing movement
  • Repeat
  • Aim for 3-5 sets of 4-6 repetitions at 80-90% 1RM; rest 2-3 minutes between sets

You can also perform the deadlift exercise with a “trap” bar.  This version is especially recommended for novices, as the side handles make the exercise much less back-intensive.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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