Core-Centric Fitness

Mind your middle with four movements to boost your core

People often miss the importance of a strong, complete core. We’ve spent many years singling out one part of the whole system—the abs and, let’s face it, crunches can be boring.

Much like the core of an apple, ours goes all the way around us. Let’s use our whole body to work on that core. Focusing on the core during these movements will not only increase your core strength, it will allow you to do more moves in better form, building strength in the areas you are training. Here are four movements that will incorporate the entire body focussing on these core-centric moves. Perform four sets. These movements are all done for time and can be performed with or without weights.

1 THRUSTERS – 90 Seconds

• Start in an athletic stance, feet shoulder-width apart with dumbbells placed over shoulders in a neutral grip
• Slowly squat to a neutral position
• Drive yourself back up to a stand as you press your arms toward the ceiling Note that you should be using your legs to help drive your arms toward the ceiling. Make this one smooth movement.

2 WALK-OUT PUSH-UPS – 90 Seconds

• Begin in a upright position, athletic stance
• Hinging at the hips, walk your hands down your legs to the ground
• Continue walking out to a straight arm plank
• Complete one push-up, walk hands back to legs, continue to walk up legs to starting position
• Insure that your head is the last to come up

3 KNEELING STAND TO PRESS – 1 minute for each side

• Begin in a kneeling position with the back foot flexed, toes down
• Grip a dumbbell in the hand opposite the kneeling leg
• Press the dumbbell toward the ceiling
• Keeping dumbbell raised, bring yourself to a standing position
• With weighted arm extended, reverse movements back to a kneeling position
• Bring your arm back down to shoulder, repeat movements on the same leg

4 PLANK PULL-THROUGH – 60 seconds

• Hold a plank position, dumbbell on the outside of your body
• Reach the opposite arm under your body to grab the dumbbell
• Lift dumbbell up a few inches, pull through and place back on the ground
• Repeat, bringing back to other side

Photography by Dave Laus

Apparel Courtesy of: Altitude Sports, Under Armour

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