The core is at the guts of all movement. Building a robust and stable core, by following the 5 core exercises and tips outlined below, goes to assist you with any movements, training or strength work that you simply do, even outside of what you would possibly deem Calisthenics.
Within Calisthenics the core and having the ability to regulate it’s so important because we aren’t isolating muscle groups like in bodybuilding, in fact, we do the other , we try to link muscle groups together (as the body was designed), whilst moving or holding isometric (stationary) movements. At the centre of all the muscle groups, you’re trying to link together is usually the core. If your core is weak and can’t stabilise the spine and pelvis, then even basic movements like push ups are getting to feel difficult.
Click here to know the ideal calisthenics core exercises
If you were a house, the foundations would be your core. The supporting structures of the house rely heavily on strong foundations. If the foundations of a house aren’t deep enough to support the load of these supporting structures, what happens? The house doesn’t subside immediately, but cracks start to seem . If action isn’t taken to repair the underlying problem within the foundations then the cracks grow and therefore the integrity and safety of the house become compromised.
In a perfect world, the foundations are built correctly at the beginning , but as you almost certainly know in real world the perfect rarely happens. If you’re starting your calisthenics journey then confirm you get your core foundations in situ at the beginning . If you’ve already started in calisthenics or have a background in training and you’ve noticed some ‘cracks’ appearing, weak links, niggles or injuries, confirm you return and address the foundations of your core.
WHAT ACTUALLY is that the CORE?
The term ‘core’ and ‘core training’ has become widely used within the fitness industry, then like anything that gets used tons , the meaning or purpose of it gets diluted or altered, a touch like Chinese whispers!
These days any abdominal exercise from an easy crunch or stay up to very advanced movements like dragon flags gets anesthetize the umbrella of ‘core training’. this is often simply a misunderstanding of what the ‘core’ is formed from and what its job is.
SO HOW can we ACTUALLY DEFINE WHAT THE CORE IS?
The core is defined as “the structures that structure the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC), including the lumbar spine, the pelvis , abdomen and therefore the hip joint” .
So in simple terms, the core is all about controlling the pelvic region. How we do this is by two separate muscular systems; the local stabilisation system and therefore the global stabilisation system. The local core stabilisers are; transverse abdominis, internal oblique, lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor and therefore the diaphragm. of these muscles attach on to the vertebrae and are slow-twitch (type I) muscle fibres , meaning they work best under small loads for extended periods of your time . So heavy loads and not many reps or at speed aren’t getting to really target your local core stabilisers.
The global stabilisation system includes quadratus lumborum, psoas major, external oblique, glute medius, adductor complex and therefore the popular rectus abdominis or six-pack muscles! These muscles attach the pelvis to the spine and act to transfer loads between the lower and upper extremities , which may be a huge aspect of calisthenics.
However, when training the ‘core’ people often misunderstand what they’re trying to try to to . They don’t have control and alignment of their pelvis, hips and lower back and thus only work the worldwide stabilisers. you’ll build up your global stabilisers including the rectus abdominis and have an excellent six-pack, but completely under-train or miss altogether your local core stabilisers.
I found this out personally the hard way! Years of sit-ups in my bedroom (100 within the morning and 100 in the dark as a minimum) certainly build up my rectus abdominis, to which i used to be happy as like most teenagers I wanted those ‘six-pack’ abs. I’d done numerous by the time wont to be”> i used to be playing professional rugby the term ‘turtle shell’ was used to describe my oversized abdominals. i used to be pretty proud of that though, as i assumed big abs meant I had a robust core. However once I’d retired from professional rugby and took up calisthenics it had been clear I didn’t have a robust ‘core’, despite all those ab workouts. The rectus abdominis I’d built up was hiding the very fact that I’d not developed my transverse abdominis and other core stabilisers. More complex things in calisthenics were causing me problems, cracks were beginning to appear and that i needed to travel back to basics and type out my foundations.
So don’t make an equivalent mistake as me, learn from my mistakes and use the 5 exercises below to develop a robust and stable core that you simply can rely on!
5 BEST CORE EXERCISES:
The plank may be a great exercise to assist learn the right alignment of the LHPC (lower back, hips and pelvis). Too often the matter is people don’t have the right alignment, in order that they aren’t activating their local core stabilisers. The effect is that the global stabilisers, which you’re not trying to focus on (although they’re going to provide some assistance), take over and compensate making your weak core even weaker because the compensatory muscles get even stronger. So poor alignment in your plank will make your problem worse, not better.
So it’s not simply about doing a particular exercise to repair any problem, it’s about doing the proper exercises correctly! Watch the video below for the right alignment and training cues to urge it right.
This is an excellent exercise which will be progressed or regressed counting on your ability. The important thing here is again ensuring you’re working the right muscles you’re trying to focus on (pelvic floor and transverse abdominis).
Make sure you ‘earn the proper to progress’, instead of trying a progression of the deadbug before you’re strong enough, otherwise a bit like the plank you’ll start compensating with other muscles, instead of hitting the local core stabilisers you would like .
Once you’ve mastered your Deadbugs and LPHC alignment in your Planks you’ll start to extend the difficultly of your core exercises. The hollow rocks challenge you to transfer force through the kinetic chain whilst maintaining trunk alignment, developing that all-important pillar strength.
If done correctly it’s an excellent exercise to focus on the lower abs and is that the start line for more advanced exercises like Dragon Flags (see exercise 5), and eventually more advanced calisthenics movements like handstands and levers.
These are one among my favourite exercises, as you not only get to figure the core muscles, but also work on some hip and hamstring mobility beat an equivalent exercise. The key thereto is recognising your detail and not trying to travel past that time . Yes getting so low you’ll touch your nose on the ground is that the name of the sport but as long as you’ll maintain that alignment you learned within the Plank exercise!
My favourite exercise for building core strength, but just one occasion you’ve mastered the inspiration building exercises. Get these right and your abs are going to be hurting for days afterwards thanks to the mixture of the load or force your generating to take care of alignment but also the stretching effect once you lower in check .
Click here to know the ideal calisthenics core exercises