Your Top 4 Core Exercises at Home
Core strength can benefit everyone, and improve any physical activity (from paddleboarding to even mowing the lawn).
I have had the chance to work with professional athletes and was on-site at athletic training facilities for NFL players, and one component worth mentioning is that all athletes perform some kind of core strength training.
I've found through experiences that these 4 routines below offer most participants the best ability to create core stiffness which can oftentimes reduce symptoms of pain from occurring, and directly improve physical outcomes. Use these to help improve your hikes, bike rides or even remedial duties around the home-front!
***Disclaimer: Some routines may require regressions or progressions depending on your level of physicality, if you want help I'm happy to assist in a consult or during our next session.***
#1 The Dead Bug - The Dead Bug is an all-encompassing core stabilization exercise. This movement encourages the use of our deep core stabilizers (like our transversus abdominis), which are often neglected and there have been speculations between the inactivity of this particular muscle group and low back pain. Spending time working on exercises that resist trunk motion is what creates the foundation our core needs. Once the stability is established, then we can begin to work towards exercises that involve more moving parts. Click the link to view a variation of the Dead Bug exercise.
#2 The Pallof Press - The Pallof Press is the king of all anti-rotation exercises and is designed to work the muscles that influence trunk rotation. Specifically, the Pallof Press works local and global muscles in effort to limit any rotation of the spine. Most people think of the core as your six-pack, but in reality, all the core stabilizers are essential to having healthy, optimal movement. Click the link to view a variation of the Pallof Press exercise.
# 3 The Bear Crawl - The Bear Crawl is a primitive movement that challenges dynamic core stability while simultaneously loading the upper and lower extremities. When referencing core stability, I'm talking about the ability to support and stabilize the torso. With any movement, we want to limit the spine from excessive & uncontrolled movement. Click the link to view a variation of a Bear Crawl exercise.
#4 The Loaded Carry - Building a strong and robust core requires training the midline in multiple planes and under load. One way to both challenge core strength in a varied plane with weight is with a Loaded Carry. The suitcase style carry puts stress on the body to stabilize in the lateral plane, prefacing the quadratus lumborum ("QL") and obliques. The QL is a common nagging point on many individuals due to its overuse helping to control forward flexion. By loading it with this style of carry, we can influence a long, isometric contraction of the QL and help build tissue capacity and strength. Click the link to view a variation of a Loaded Carry exercise.