T Nation

Quality Compound Core Movements


#1

I am looking to supplement my sled day workout with 4 core exercises, since the sled pretty much drains my energy for the next few hours I cant do much else. I already do straight leg deadlifts for 1x10 for the lower back and barbell Russian twists for my front. I need two additional workouts, ideally one that works the back and another that works the front (dont know the technical name for entire abdominal region).

I would prefer to hear about or be directed too compound core workouts. IE none of the shit like planks or crunches or various pull downs. I want to do something that is semi whole body, but really works the core hard.

I tried the following workouts attached. They work great but they are very technical and I find it hard to maintain form after I do my sled routine. For example, today I was so drained I had to give up on one of the lifts in the video because my form was deteriorating so quickly.

Video of lifts I've tried:


#2

Er, why would you strength train on your conditioning day? Include those exercises in your lower body program if you have to.


#3

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I am looking to supplement my sled day workout with 4 core exercises[/quote]
What are your goals?

What does your current program look like - weights and cardio/conditioning. What days, exercises, sets, and reps?

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to just say “do this and that” without knowing what you’re already doing and what you’re trying to accomplish.

So you want something fancy instead of a basic, tried and true exercise. Makes sense to me.

You keep calling them “workouts”. You’re talking about “exercises”. Workouts are the entire session, start to finish. Exercises are done for sets and reps within a workout. It’s getting confusing, thought I’d clarify.

No kidding. That third exercise (@3:45) especially looks awkward as hell, like the guy went out of his way to create some funky previously undiscovered exercise without considering the practical benefits. The first two are variations of a landmine press, which Ben Bruno and Nick Tumminello have written some about.

For general core work, I like Pallof Press holds (especially going heavy), full contact twists (probably similar to your Russian twists), and one-hand and/or one-arm planks. Check these for more ideas:



But, again, it depends a good deal on what you’re already doing and why you’re doing it.


#4

You could also do some heavy Overhead Supports/Jerk Supports if you have a power rack. If not, you can rig something comparable up with chains and some loading pins… both of which you can get/make with stuff from the hardware store.

I guarantee you these will improve your posture quick too, since you simply can’t afford to be out of alignment.

Information on the overhead support, as well as a few set/rep schedules, by Christian Thibaudeau: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_thibaudeau/incorporating_power_holds


#5

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I am looking to supplement my sled day workout with 4 core exercises[/quote]
What are your goals?

What does your current program look like - weights and cardio/conditioning. What days, exercises, sets, and reps?

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to just say “do this and that” without knowing what you’re already doing and what you’re trying to accomplish.

So you want something fancy instead of a basic, tried and true exercise. Makes sense to me.

You keep calling them “workouts”. You’re talking about “exercises”. Workouts are the entire session, start to finish. Exercises are done for sets and reps within a workout. It’s getting confusing, thought I’d clarify.

No kidding. That third exercise (@3:45) especially looks awkward as hell, like the guy went out of his way to create some funky previously undiscovered exercise without considering the practical benefits. The first two are variations of a landmine press, which Ben Bruno and Nick Tumminello have written some about.

For general core work, I like Pallof Press holds (especially going heavy), full contact twists (probably similar to your Russian twists), and one-hand and/or one-arm planks. Check these for more ideas:



But, again, it depends a good deal on what you’re already doing and why you’re doing it.[/quote]

Goals: Break though this plateau I just encountered, get back into doing legs workouts after avoiding them due to a lower back injury. Id like to lose weight at some point in time, but I would like to build strength first.

Workout--------------------------------------------
Monday----------
Sled - 6 sprints of about 100 feet
2 core exercises yet to be determined
Russian Twist - 3x10
Straight leg deadlift - 1x10

Tuesday---------
Bench Press - 5x1 Negatives, lowering for 15 seconds
Barbell Row - 5x1 Negatives, lowering for 15 seconds
Dip - 3x5
Farmers Walks 2x walking about 75 feet with hex bar

Weds------------
Rest

Thursday--------
Same as Monday

Friday----------
OH Press - 5x1 Negatvies lowering for 15 seconds (basically I push press the weight up)
Lat Pulldown - 3x5 using chin-up grip
Cable Diagonal Raise

Weekend---------
Rest


My primary leg training is the sled. You are probably gonna give me shit about it, but squats and I dont get along. I have done them in the past, even got to 5x315 one summer, but I always end up injured. It has gotten to the point where my back is really sensitive now and I would rather not be 40 years old with microchip implants or a hunched back.

I’m also not trying to lift competitively, so I don’t see why squats are absolutely essential. Make no mistake, I fully understand their benefits as the “king of exercises”, but Im not going to risk my lower back because “its the right thing to do”. There are workarounds, I will find them.

Sorry about the nomenclature, I didnt know to tell you the truth. Hence why I am in the beginners forum.


#6

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
My primary leg training is the sled. You are probably gonna give me shit about it, but squats and I dont get along. I have done them in the past, even got to 5x315 one summer, but I always end up injured. It has gotten to the point where my back is really sensitive now and I would rather not be 40 years old with microchip implants or a hunched back.

I’m also not trying to lift competitively, so I don’t see why squats are absolutely essential. Make no mistake, I fully understand their benefits as the “king of exercises”, but Im not going to risk my lower back because “its the right thing to do”. There are workarounds, I will find them.[/quote]

Hip belt squats might be worth looking into. It might be a pain to figure out how to set up, but all the load is on your pelvis and not your back.

You can make your own loading pin with a pipe nipple, flange, reducing coupling, and an eyebolt.


#7

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Id like to lose weight at some point in time[/quote]
For reference, what’s your current height, weight, and general fat level - just a description, not a %.

The program you wrote out is an inefficient plan to build strength. Over-emphasizing the negative like that doesn’t always transfer to overall strength. You’d almost-definitely be better off with a better-designed routine.

Your only leg training is the sled. I’m not going to count the stiff leg deads because they’re just two sets per week. If you really wanted to bump up the leg work, do something with the sled after every training session.

A lot of the people following Christian Thibaudeau’s layer program are doing something along those lines. It might be a few heavier trips one day, slightly lighter for more distance another, variations like that.

I get that you’ve been injured before and it definitely influences your program choices. Is your low back issue 100% healed?

I get what you’re saying, but you’re still a young guy. Do you think it would it make sense to address whatever was leading up to the injuries (flexibility, mobility, technique, etc.) or scrap the exercise for the next 30 years because it just didn’t pan out.

They’re not, plenty of people don’t squat, but they’re useful for a lot of people and the fact of the matter is that “squatting” is a basic human movement pattern that your body should be able to do without increased risk of injury. And again, I think it’s more important to figure out what was causing the injuries and address that, rather than ditch the exercise forever.

For sure there are. Single-leg work is one of the next best bets to minimize lower back stress. Lunges, step-ups, etc. Squats/deadlifts with the hex bar would be another option. The weight is more centered through the body and reduces direct stress on the spine.

No prob. Not trying to be a jerk, just clarifying for others too.


#8

I was considering doing hep belt squats. I actually “invented” them a year ago before I knew they already existed. I saw this really hot girl doing them with perfect form at my gym a week ago. I was gonna complement her form but she had a boyfriend so I figured why bother.

For my statistics:
5’9"
~208 lbs
~25% bodyfat (I know you said dont give this but I had it checked a few months ago and it was 21, but I gained weight since)
34" waste

In addition I am not what you would call a “hard gainer”. I build muscle on my legs especially fast and I have no problem gaining weight from eating. I also have a broad frame for my height; I am barrel chested (which is weird because my bench press numbers are disappointing for my chest size).

I have read that negatives are good for busting through plateaus, hence why I am doing them. I only planned to do them for 6 weeks at the most. I would also like to make an important note that I am adding weight every week with each workout on this routine, including the sled.

I also agree with you about addressing the problem with the squats as opposed to avoid them. The problem (ironically): I dont have a trainer or a workout buddy that can critique my form or make suggestions based on experience/expertise. I would guess that I have tight hips and a weak core.

I was also considering doing hex bar deadlifts, but I would have to use 35lb plates since the bar handle bumps up to high and I barely get a range of motion (it sucks being short).

Im going to cut to the chase and ask what you would recommend to improve my workout. I was avoiding asking this question because I’m sure lots of people nag about this all the time without doing research. My workout was the product of doing research and you suggested it isn’t sufficient for my goals, so some help would be much appreciated.

And dont worry about being a jerk. I get technical too when it comes to things I’m really passionate about.


#9

Oh forgot to mention:

To tell you the truth I dont know if it is fully healed. What I do know is that it is very sensitive and may feel fine, but after a workout bother me slightly. Sometimes it bothers me when I am just sitting.


#10

How about videotaping your squats?

People around here give excellent advice. One example: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/squat_form_check_66


#11

Thats a pretty good idea, Ive video taped myself in the past but never uploaded it to a forum. Pending on Chris’s response, I’ll upload a video (maybe on this thread just for you two?) and you guys can immediately tell what’s up.


#12

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I have read that negatives are good for busting through plateaus, hence why I am doing them. I only planned to do them for 6 weeks at the most.[/quote]
They can be useful, for sure. Just don’t overemphasize them and neglect the full lifts, especially for a longer period of time (I’d say 6 weeks should be on the high end, before you start getting back into a more “normal” routine).

What was the plateau you’re trying to break? It’s just odd that you’re using it for a few different exercises instead of focusing them just on the particular lift you’re trying to improve. If it seems to be working, though, ride it out.

Check these for some more ideas on how to put the sled to a bit more use:


Also, if you can do the hex deads, even with the 35s or standing on an aerobic step or whatever works, try to incorporate it.

Almost definitely not healed. Or at least, still susceptible to re-injury because something just isn’t right somewhere along the line. That’s definitely a can of worms worth opening, looking into, focusing on 100% whenever you have a few months to dedicate to gettin’ healthy.

For sure though, toss up a video of your squat technique in a new thread if you want people to take a look at it. I’m not totally comfortable assessing technique via video, but like Rez said, it’s really, really common for people to ask for a critique and the replies are almost-always pretty useful.

This can be addressed while you’re doing the other stuff, most easily by cleaning up your nutrition. This is a pretty simple step-by-step guide to getting things in order on that end:


#13

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Thats a pretty good idea, Ive video taped myself in the past but never uploaded it to a forum. Pending on Chris’s response, I’ll upload a video (maybe on this thread just for you two?) and you guys can immediately tell what’s up.[/quote]

I recommend creating a new thread.


#14

#15

Ok so here’s the results of this thread in terms of my workout plan/goals:

Follow the 14 missions over the course of this month. Im already doing mission (had some eggs last night with a salad and hummus)!!!
In addition to this 14 mission I am trying to have at least 1 egg a day and 1 salad a day.

In addition to my sled dragging, I will incorporate two set of sled pulling about 100 ft

I will only do the negatives for the next 3-4 weeks depending on how well I progress, then I will switch to another program which will last me 12-16 weeks, maybe WSFSB

For my core, I am doing 3x10 SLDL and 3x10 single kettle bell (replaced with a mini barbell) situps

After these next 3-4 weeks (and hopefully with a stronger core) I will begin doing Hex Bar lifts, with a light weight, then adding 10 lbs a week, however I will keep sleds as my primary leg workout