Core training has been a hot topic in recent years. There are even classes out there that are dedicated to training the core. When training the core we don’t want to overcomplicate the situation. I always like to make things as simple as possible in training so people can maximize their results. The same is true for when I am training the core. Essentially I like to break it down into three categories to keep it simple for people to get in a great training session and increase their core strength. The three categories that I like to break it down into are stabilization, rotation and isolation. Each of the three serve a purpose when training the core.
Stabilization: If you have ever done a plank then you have done a stabilization exercise. Most people lack core stability to perform everyday activities at an optimal level. Being able to brace your core is important to gaining rock solid stability. Pretend for a second that someone is going to punch you in the stomach. What would you do? You would tighten your stomach as tight as possible in order to take the impact of the punch. What you are basically doing is bracing your core. If you really want to focus on your bracing technique that will improve your stabilization Try standing in the upright position with proper posture, with your shoulders back and tighten your glutes. The next thing you want to do is tighten your stomach like I explained before as if someone is going to punch you. The best part is you can do this drill anywhere and it will help strengthen your core stability.
Rotation: Many of the movements we perform require some kind of rotation within our core. If you are an athlete or just a weekend warrior rotational core strength is important. We use rotational movements when we sprint, play a round of golf or swing a baseball bat, throw a punch in our kickboxing class, pick up your kids and the list can go on. As you can see rotational core strength and power are essential for everyday life. The more we can improve our rotational strength the better we will be overall.
Isolation: These are the exercises that most people are very familiar with. These are the core exercises that you can walk into any gym and see a handful of people doing at a time. These are the exercise that people do to help develop their six pack abs. Isolation exercises will help build overall strength in your core and incorporating in an integrated fashion into your core training is just as important as your rotational and stabilization exercises. You can perform all the isolation exercises you want but if your nutrition is not on point the six pack will never come out.
Check out the video below for some examples of all three types of exercises.