JackedPack Blog - Epic Fitness & Nutrition Tips
Strengthen Your Core Without Spinal Flexion
By Evan Clark, NSCA-CPT
First of all, I would like to thank Al Gore for inventing the Internet. Seriously, he hooked up society big time. Hopefully by the time I’m forty I’ll be living like George Jetson. However, the downfall of Al Gore’s Al-Glorious invention is that for many people today, meatheads included, work requires sitting at a desk 40 hours a week.
While we all would love to be professional athletes, astronauts and fighter pilots, the average employee spends their workday sitting at a desk tippity-tapping away at the keyboard. While the modern age of personal computers and smart phones may benefit us all in some aspects, (Youtube being the greatest invention since the invention of the protein shaker), it certainly has not benefitted our posture or back health. For this reason, I cringe when I see hardworking men and women go from hunching at an office desk to hunching on a Swiss ball doing crunches at the gym.
The world of aesthetics driven exercise has many believing that crunches are the vessel to a respectable six-pack. While crunches are an excellent, efficient exercise, they are often performed incorrectly. By no means am I a crunches-hater, however, this is a large topic best saved for another day.
We want to encourage some abdominal exercise variation that not only target the abdominals, but the entire core (obliques, erector spinae, etc.). Therefore, because we do not want that washboard stomach to be complementing the Quasimodo posture, here are just a handful of terrific core exercises that help increase trunk stability and core strength without spinal flexion:
*Perform plank in push-up position rather than on forearms
*Perform with hands and/or feet on different surface.
*Feet up on bench
*Hands on medicine ball
*Feet or hands on a BOSU or Swiss ball
*Side planks – dip hip to floor and then return to original position for repetitions
*Perform plank with one foot or hand up
*Perform parallel, upward and downward
*Perform by throwing medicine balls instead of using cables
*Perform in kneeling position, no twisting, only moving arms
*Perform with both hands and feet at the same time
*Perform using a physioball or medicine ball in hands or passed back and forth from hands to feet.
To perform the crab pose, start by sitting on the ground with knees bent and hands on the ground behind you. Your hand should be pointed back (shoulders externally rotated). Lift your butt off the ground keeping a big chest and straight back. Hold.
*One foot/hand off of the ground
*Perform walking forward, sideways or backwards