T Nation

Good Core Exercises?


#1

I'm posting this in the powerlifting forum because I am looking for core exercises to increase core stability for the powerlifts. Core is a weakness of mine, especially in the squat, together with glute activation/ strength.

So far I started using plankes and variations of them (weighted, with hands in front). My training consists of pretty much exclusively compound lifts and I thought that would be enough for building my core/ abs but I might have been wrong with this.


#2

I really like front squats for this, as I don’t do any direct core work to be honest. I’ve only recently started adding them in the past few months and already see some benefit. Check out some of Chris Duffins videos on youtube about core strengthening and bracing they were very informative to me.


#3

[quote]cparker wrote:
I really like front squats for this, as I don’t do any direct core work to be honest. I’ve only recently started adding them in the past few months and already see some benefit. Check out some of Chris Duffins videos on youtube about core strengthening and bracing they were very informative to me.[/quote]

I will rewatch the videos (don’t remember them that good anymore). I already do front squats and have added in overhead squats.


#4

Overhead squats are garbage. If you want to train abdominal stiffness, do heavy farmers’ walks. Uneven loads are particularly good; load 10-20% more on one handle.


#5

I also like doing squats with one of those torsinator things. 20-40kg on the bar and the bar on one of your shoulders. Press it after the squat for extra oomph.


#6

pushups get the highest EMG. Try slow tension pushups. Really slow on the way down and really slow on way up.


#7

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Overhead squats are garbage. If you want to train abdominal stiffness, do heavy farmers’ walks. Uneven loads are particularly good; load 10-20% more on one handle.[/quote]

I don’t have access to farmers walk handles, The dumbbels I have access to are not that heavy for me and on top of that my gym does not have enough space to do them for very long distance without turning every few seconds.

But since you mentioned farmers walks, do you have tips on how to do them? I am confused if I am meant to brace my core the whole time or just pick the weight and walk with it while staying upright?


#8

That sucks, man. Farmers walks are awesome.

Yeah, you have to stay braced. Not only that, everything has to fire in the right pattern because as you walk, the pelvis and spine have to be stabilized.

Hammers the crap out of almost your entire body, and you just don’t get more “functional” than picking up heavy stuff and walking with it.


#9

Farmer’s and 1 arm farmer’s are cool, but sidebends will do if space is tight. Focus on neutral spine and tension in your oblique. Don’ t worry about bending too far, it only takes a short ROM.

I like pull down abs with a band. Also hanging leg raises. Or leg raises off a bench to start out. And the side-to -side “landmines.” Lifts that you can load, so you only need 8-12 reps. Stuff where you stand on your feet and don’t have to lay on the ground.

For the posterior I like the back raise or hyperextension. Hug a ball or plate to your chest. Tuck your chin. Really push your hips in, and use your glutes and hamstrings, not your lower back to do the move. When you get stronger, put the plate behind your head.

Leg curls, kettlebell swings, glute/hams, pull thru’s, reverse hypers can all work too.

You don’t have to spend much time on this stuff. 3-5 sets, 10-15 reps. Before your workout, or between sets of assistance work later in your session.


#10

#11

[quote]cparker wrote:
I really like front squats for this, as I don’t do any direct core work to be honest. I’ve only recently started adding them in the past few months and already see some benefit. Check out some of Chris Duffins videos on youtube about core strengthening and bracing they were very informative to me.[/quote]
Chris Duffin’s ab wheel rollouts are the best PL-specific ab exercise I have found, no other ab exercise makes you brace our abs as hard. You need static strength for “core stabilization”, any kind of crunches and sit ups are (in my opinion) better for someone looking to get a 6 pack than to lift heavy.

Planks should be good too, probably better with a weighted vest or get someone to put a couple plates on your back. Another thing that I find helps a lot is beltless work. If your abs are weak then don’t go so heavy that your form breaks down, you could start by doing all your warm up sets beltless and then use beltless sq/dl as a variation.


#12

Farmer’s walks for abs always makes me giggle.

I alternate between weighted GHR sit-ups and ab wheel each week. Like both of them, seem to be able to go hard and heavy pretty easily.


#13

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Farmer’s walks for abs always makes me giggle.[/quote]

Well, he didn’t say abs, he said core stability. Heavy farmers will definitely train that.

But yeah, if anyone recommended farmers for getting them six pack abz, I’d giggle at em a little, too.


#14

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Farmer’s walks for abs always makes me giggle.[/quote]

Well, he didn’t say abs, he said core stability. Heavy farmers will definitely train that.

But yeah, if anyone recommended farmers for getting them six pack abz, I’d giggle at em a little, too. [/quote]

It just seems silly to me, like suggesting someone throw a javelin to develop explosiveness, or deadlift for grip strength.

I train farmer’s to get better at farmer’s. I do a lot of things to improve my core strength FOR farmer’s, but I never really consider the farmer’s to be core work in and of itself. There’s just too much going on with the movement.


#15

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:

[quote]cparker wrote:
I really like front squats for this, as I don’t do any direct core work to be honest. I’ve only recently started adding them in the past few months and already see some benefit. Check out some of Chris Duffins videos on youtube about core strengthening and bracing they were very informative to me.[/quote]
Chris Duffin’s ab wheel rollouts are the best PL-specific ab exercise I have found, no other ab exercise makes you brace our abs as hard. You need static strength for “core stabilization”, any kind of crunches and sit ups are (in my opinion) better for someone looking to get a 6 pack than to lift heavy.

Planks should be good too, probably better with a weighted vest or get someone to put a couple plates on your back. Another thing that I find helps a lot is beltless work. If your abs are weak then don’t go so heavy that your form breaks down, you could start by doing all your warm up sets beltless and then use beltless sq/dl as a variation. [/quote]

I agree on your opinion about situps and stuff like that. I am generally not a fan of ab excersises that require spinal flexion. I am not using my belt that much, I just use it for the heaviest lift of the day and only the last warm up set or no warm up set at all is done with a belt. I even go beltless on my main movements if the weight or reps don’t require wearing a belt. I see my belt more as a tool that allows me to hit certain weights/ reps with a given weight.


#16

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Farmer’s walks for abs always makes me giggle.[/quote]

Well, he didn’t say abs, he said core stability. Heavy farmers will definitely train that.

But yeah, if anyone recommended farmers for getting them six pack abz, I’d giggle at em a little, too. [/quote]

Not looking for them six pack abz (too fat for that anyway), I am looking for performance improvement and injury prevention.


#17

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Farmer’s walks for abs always makes me giggle.[/quote]

Well, he didn’t say abs, he said core stability. Heavy farmers will definitely train that.

But yeah, if anyone recommended farmers for getting them six pack abz, I’d giggle at em a little, too. [/quote]

Not looking for them six pack abz (too fat for that anyway), I am looking for performance improvement and injury prevention.
[/quote]

On this topic, I can’t believe I forgot to mention it, but reverse hypers.

Reverse hypers changed my life and pretty much made my back bulletproof.


#18

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Farmer’s walks for abs always makes me giggle.[/quote]

Well, he didn’t say abs, he said core stability. Heavy farmers will definitely train that.

But yeah, if anyone recommended farmers for getting them six pack abz, I’d giggle at em a little, too. [/quote]

Not looking for them six pack abz (too fat for that anyway), I am looking for performance improvement and injury prevention.
[/quote]

On this topic, I can’t believe I forgot to mention it, but reverse hypers.

Reverse hypers changed my life and pretty much made my back bulletproof.
[/quote]

What kind of protocol do you follow for reverse hypers? like frequency, weight, reps etc


#19

[quote]cparker wrote:

What kind of protocol do you follow for reverse hypers? like frequency, weight, reps etc[/quote]

When my focus was solely powerlifting, I’d train it twice a week (once on deadlift workouts, once on squat workouts). I’d train 4 sets and start with 8 reps each set with the same weight. Each workout, I’d increase by 2 reps for all sets until I eventually hit 12 reps, then I’d add 10lbs and start the process over.

So basically

Workout 1:
4x8

Workout 2:
4x10

Workout 3:
4x12

Workout 4:
4x8 (w/10lbs more than workout 1)

These days, with my focus on strongman, I’m not able to fit in twice a week training, so I just train it once a week on my squat workout for 3 sets. I got slightly more creative with this one, starting lightish I did 2x8 and then 1x As many as possible, which ended up being 15 reps. So I kept increasing the reps on the first 2 sets while aiming for 15 on the last until I hit 3x15, then I added 50lbs per side and started over. I’m now up to 5 plates per side for 3x11 IIRC from my last reverse hyper workout.


#20

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Farmer’s walks for abs always makes me giggle.[/quote]

Well, he didn’t say abs, he said core stability. Heavy farmers will definitely train that.

But yeah, if anyone recommended farmers for getting them six pack abz, I’d giggle at em a little, too. [/quote]

Not looking for them six pack abz (too fat for that anyway), I am looking for performance improvement and injury prevention.
[/quote]

On this topic, I can’t believe I forgot to mention it, but reverse hypers.

Reverse hypers changed my life and pretty much made my back bulletproof.
[/quote]

I keep hearing awesome things about this excersise, unfortunately I have no access to the machine either. Yes the material I am working with is not the greatest…