FQD 10.22.2010 [Core Truth]

Fitness Question of the Day [10/22/2010]

Which core exercises do you believe are most effective? Tajji Sharp, Phoenix, AZ

In my experience, the best abdominal exercises are those that engage one’s entire body. Those that require the core –abs and lower back– to truly act as the core or the central and stabilizing force of the move. Posture moves. Take a standard plank, for example. The body is elevated off of the ground by only elbows and feet. In order to maintain the straight and “tight” plank posture, the core must be wholly engaged. Central too to this idea then is the hold. The longer the plank is held, the harder the move becomes to properly maintain but the more engaged the core becomes. The more engaged the core becomes, the stronger it becomes over time. But when “holding,” one must always remember: quality over quantity. To increase difficulty with posture and hold moves I will often add a secondary move that puts even more pressure on the core to stabilize. Continuing with the standard plank example, I will remove a leg or arm from the structure and extend it so that it is parallel to the ground. Now I am elevating my planked body with only three base points – work core, work! And that’s how it’s done!™ – ADUB© 

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