T Nation

Core Strength and Stability

I need to get my core stronger, and people say squats and deadlifts are enough, but I want some extra work.

I’m 16 years old, 180ish lbs.
My squat is 320lbsx6-7ATG

My deadlift is about 400lbs.

I feel like my core strength could be better especially for basketball and jumping.

What are the best exercises?

Do some core work is a smart choice.There are many great core exercise.You have to find your best one.Personally I prefer hanging leg raise and all kinds of carry movement esp Farmers walk.

Doing core exercises after Squat/ Deadlift days is a good idea as assisstance.
I personally love farmers walks and Ab Wheels

Hanging leg raises are awesome
Hollow holds
Stir the pot

If you are squatting 320 for reps well below parallel but only pulling 400, I would be worried about your perceived depth or some big imbalances.


Ab wheel, back raises, ditch the idea the atg is a good thing for most people.

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There might be a good reason to squat ATG in some cases, but there is never a good reason to call it ATG.

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Bracing drills like Stuart McGill’s “big 3” and stuff like ab wheel and stir the pot are likely to help the most. Personally, I stopped training abs once I learned to brace properly and my lifts have only gone up as a result. Some people might benefit from training abs (especially if you don’t know how to brace properly, which McGill’s exercises will teach you) but it comes at a cost to recovery as well. I think that to increase the squat and deadlift I’m better off squatting and deadlifting more rather than putting that time and energy into ab work.


I can only think of people who can do it safely. Outside of weightlifting they’re a rare breed.

Big imbalances

I’ve gotten stronger since then. I can also pause squat 315lbs ass to grass.

This just looked like a bunch of singles edited together


I had posted these videos on snapchat, which only records 10 second segments of videos. It was 320lbsx5 that day.

I did 320lbs for 3 sets of 6 today.

Are you doing plyos to help with jumping in basketball?

That just seems like the most obvious answer to getting better at that.

Again? Why?

Because lots of kids my age, and people who don’t really lift like that in general, may claim to be squatting a certain amount of weight, while depth be not even parallel. I’m trying to make sure I sound credible.

Yea I’m trying. But my plan is rather unstructured. I did some jumps on Thursday, got quite a few good jumps in.

If you can do a lot of crunches, do crunches after doing push ups. The abs will already be tired after holding your body stable during the push ups.

I’ve also found that doing the ab wheel and then kettle ball swings work the same muscle groups in opposite ways, so I do the wheel out and then the swings.

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You are squatting to depth, we have established that, no need to keep reminding us. I just get annoyed with all the ATG talk, anytime you look at the comments on pretty much any powerlifting video on YouTube there are a bunch of idiots saying “hey man, that’s not ATG” or “but he’s wearing a belt, that’s not raw”. I just want to make sure that you don’t follow in their footsteps. When I do high bar squats I’m going at least a deep as you but I have never gotten the urge to call it ATG.

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Lol yea I’m not like that. I’ve realized that I’m pretty strong for my age though, and with my numbers perceived depth becomes questionable. For example, the football team posts numbers for each student in my school weight room, and even though they are high, NONE of them squat to parallel.