T Nation

Core Work You Use


#1

Hi coach,

Do you do a lot of specific core work with your athletes? If so, what are your go-to exercises?

Thanks


#2

Farmers walk, zercher carries, overhead walks, macebell swings, and some cable crunches


#3

brilliant, thanks very much


#4

Coach, is there a particular reason you don’t use hollow holds?


#5

Dude, if you count every exercice possible in a training program you’ll likely come up with several thousands and you might be surprised to learn that I don’t use most of them.

My mentality is to use the least amount of exercises to get the job done. I’m not one to include every single possible exercise or method in a program and i think that coaches who do that have a really bad understanding of the human body.

Hollow holds like planks are fine at some point in a training plan. To me they can be a bit useful at the stage where someone is capable to contracting his core muscles properly as a way to bridge going from learning to use your core muscles to training them for performance.

But once you can do a hollow hold and hollow rocks for 40 seconds or more with solid form i see no reason to keep training on them at all, just a waste if training time. At that point you need exercises that will challenge the core more, like loaded carries, swings, etc.


#6

This was the information I was looking for. Been doing hollow holds and, while I like, was wondering there is a point in holding the hollow position for more than a minute.


#7

Well, it can be worth it if you are a mixed martial artist for example. But other than that I’d prefer more challenging exercises


#8

That’s interesting although I don’t do MMA anymore. Workout at a Crossfit gym but I don’t care about competition anymore; just having fun with training.

Thanks for the answers coach!


#9

Let’s look at it this way… with isometric exercises:

0 - 12 seconds to develop strength (so this normally requires a good overload) through neural factors
12 - 45 seconds to develop strength through muscular factors
45 seconds to 3 minutes to improve resistance, or capacity to hold long efforts (this is where MMA falls in)
3+ minutes has absolutely zero value