Advanced Core Development Techniques

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Some time after integrating basic core training exercises into your workout routine, you may begin feeling like it is time to “up the ante.” That’s when more advanced techniques can come into play.

Developing a high level of core strength is crucial, not only to your performance in athletic endeavors, but also to helping you maintain correct posture and reducing or eliminating the lower back pain that can significantly reduce your quality of life.

The key to adding more difficulty to your core training routine is to challenge your core muscles in a variety of ways, while they’re still charged with the task of stabilizing your body. The more difficult you make it for your core muscles to maintain stability, the better workout you’ll have.

Maintaining difficult postures while lifting heavy objects is certainly effective way of building core strength the caveman way, and adding a greater variety of stimuli will take your core fitness to an even higher level.

Plank with Stability Ball – Stability balls are great for really challenging the muscles of your abs and lower back. To perform a plank exercise with a stability ball, assume a push-up position with your feet on top of the ball. While holding this position, increase the degree of difficulty by adding single leg raises, lifting your right foot and then your left as high as possible and completing as many reps as you can do with good form. This exercise does a great job of challenging your core since it requires you to maintain a stable posture while balanced on the stability ball while adding the leg lifts requires you to maintain posture without the support of whichever leg you’re lifting at any given time.

Reverse V-Sit with Stability Ball – Assume the push-up position with your feet on the stability ball as in the above example. While keeping your feet on the ball, raise your buttocks as high as you can, making an upside down “V” with your body. Hold this position for a couple of seconds and then return to your original position. Repeat as many times as you can.

Medicine Ball Lunges with a Twist – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart while holding a medicine ball in front of you. Step forward with your right foot as you would with a normal lunge, while swinging the medicine ball to the right side. Return to your original position, and then repeat with your left side. This exercise strengthens your glutes and hamstrings while simultaneously activating your core muscles.

Medicine Ball Woodchoppers on Stability Ball – This exercise is great for strengthening the oblique muscles while forcing your abs and lower back muscles to work hard to stabilize your trunk. Sit on the stability ball while holding the medicine ball at waist height off to the right side. Keeping your arms straight, raise the medicine ball up and across your body until your arms are fully raised on your right side. Bring the ball down with a chopping motion and repeat 10 times on each side.

The key to adding difficulty to your core exercises is to challenge your body to maintain stability while performing an exercise. The added stress will result in stronger muscles, greater stability and increased power in all of your athletic movements.

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