Core training has been a big part of my training. Aside from swimming, biking and running, specifically training the part of your body that joins your top and bottom half is key to leveraging your strength. How?
- Improves your posture and control when moving which means better form.
- Aides prevention of injury which means you can train more often and for longer.
- Improved respiratory function which means more oxygen is transferred to your muscles
- Facilitates transfer of weight inside and absorption of force from outside the body
- Greatly benefits neuromuscular co-ordination which means improved reaction times and more power
- Makes your abs look awesome!
A great example is Denise Lewis. Mobility and conditioning were key to her success in heptathlon. It’s clear a strong core paid dividends!
Below is the core work out I’m using right now. It normally takes around 35-40 minutes, it uses mainly body weight and some of the stuff I’ve got lying around in my garage gym.
- Jackknife sit up (30 reps) + Burpee (16 reps)
- Weighted sit up & 10 kg plate (30 reps) + Jump Lunge Squat Jump (26 reps)
- Russian Twist & 10 kg plate (40 reps) + Squat Thrusts (25 reps)
- Bicycle crunch (40 reps) + Kettle bell Swing 15 kg (or ‘dumb bell’ swing) (15 reps)
- Side planks (30 secs) + Ab Roller Wheel (15 reps)
- Complete three sets
- 30 seconds rest between drills and two minutes rest between sets
- Pyramid down if necessary
- Finish with 10 minutes skipping if you have time
My favorite at the moment is the Abdominal Roller Wheel (affiliate link). I remember my dad having on back in the 80’s and it was long forgotten until recently!! Do this one properly and you’ll really feel the burn at the top of your abs.
Three sets of these and you should be sweating pretty hard. Do this twice a week and you’ll be able to call on a pretty solid core.