The infamous sick-pack requires hard work, but when it comes to the abs training smarter could have more dividends than training harder.
Why Training Your Core First Thing in Your Workout Can Make a Huge Difference
The 5-minute core finisher is a staple for some, but if we really want to impact our core’s strength and size, putting your training at the end of your workout in a fatigued state may not be the most efficient method. Don’t get me wrong, if you are doing core training consistently you are already ticking a lot of boxes, but if we aren’t seeing any noticeable results I want you to consider a paradigm shift to your midline training.
If you want to make waves with your midline stability and aesthetics, train it first thing in your workout.
You may be surprised by the associated benefits;
- You will feel more stable in your subsequent movements.
- You will be able to connect and ‘feel’ it more during your workout.
- You may even alleviate some lower back over-activation.
Plus, you won’t be training the core under fatigue like you would if it was a finisher. This will send a much louder signal for the body to adapt to. The core itself is there to protect and stabilise our spine. Its role is vital and can be a contributor to a lot of niggling and/or severe injuries if it is underactive.
So how you train the midline is also very important.
When we train it dynamically we are essentially moving our spine. So if you are doing a movement like a leg drop or hanging leg raise and only your legs are moving, we are bracing with our core, but our hip flexors are doing a majority of the work. We are incidentally training our bracing pattern, but not the flexion or extension of our spine.
Without getting too deep into the weeds of core training, training the abs with a slow tempo, high load and full range of motion will facilitate a growth signal of more than hundreds of crunches.
You wouldn’t do 4 sets of 100 squats to grow your legs, would you?
Instead, consider movements that place a lot of stress on the midline. The most impactful movements are:
- Strict Toes to Bar.
- Hollow holds and hollow rocks.
- Hollow V ups.
- Ab Wheel Rollouts
- Dragon flags
- Reverse crunches.
The core finisher is great if that’s all you have time for, but once again, the body will adapt most of the movement or the stimulus you send first.
- Train your core first in your workout.
- Use a slow controlled tempo.
- Use a full range of motion on dynamic core movements.
- Use movements that place a large amount of stress on the target muscles
Our favourite starter
Favourite because of the results obtained, not necessarily because it’s pleasant… brace yourself! Complete 4 rounds of each of the following exercises:
- 4 AB Wheel rollouts
- 30 seconds hollow hold
- 30 seconds hollow Rock
- 30 Seconds hollow V up
- 60 seconds rest.