CORE AND AB WORKOUTS – FUNCTION FIRST
When you concentrate on performance first, results and improved aesthetics will follow naturally. Focusing on performance before everything else provides you with clear and objective parameters to aim for, as well as an effective set of data to track your progress objectively.
When it comes to reaching goals or achieving lasting feelings of success, you must first think carefully about what you are actually chasing, what do you really want? If this goal is clear and measurable then you can easily see how far you have progressed, how much ground stands between you and your goal, and the reward will be the better for it.
For example, to complete a marathon, improve your back squat PR by 10kg or lose 3kg of bodyweight are all focused goals that can be objectively measured. If the goal is to look better (a common reason why many people train) then there is no easy way to measure this. Consequently, how will you know if have achieved what you set out to do? To extend this further, when will this ever stop? Is there ever a point when a person feels totally accepting and happy with the way that they look?
A NEW DEFINITION OF BEAUTY
When the emphasis is switched away from looks and onto performance, you become free from measuring yourself using you own self-perception, a changing perspective by which you view your own body and appearance. Progress becomes an exterior, objective set of markers that will help to develop internal confidence, strength and ability. The loss of fat, a leaner or more muscular physique and improved health then become by products of chasing performance, instead of singular goals in themselves.
Goals in isolation are arbitrary, it is not the goal itself that is impressive. Instead what is truly important is the person that you have become in order to be able to achieve that goal. To return to the goals mentioned above, if you have added 10kg to your back squat PR then you will have needed to grow more muscle, enhance your body, improve your technique and change your mentality in order to be able to perform the lift at the new and higher weight.
Think of a new definition of beauty, where bodies are defined by what they can do, not by how they look, and you will liberate yourself and your thoughts from huge amounts of self-doubt and personal insecurity.
This idea inverts traditional, generic notions of beauty in a positive and constructive way. Beauty is a constantly shifting cultural fabrication that morphs and changes with the passage of time. This alternative perspective gives you individual control. Improving your confidence and fitness as you train hard and progress effectively through the goals and milestones that you set for yourself.
Redefine your sense of beauty on your own terms.
Ironically, by putting performance first and aesthetics second, most people achieve better results when it comes to transforming the appearance of their body anyway.
The adidas Believe This Tights and Don’t Rest Iteration Bra are designed according to the same principles.
Built for performance, they support and hold your body in the optimal position for movement during exercise. They are designed for individual control and maximal athleticism.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CORE AND ABS
When it comes to full body strength, your core is absolutely essential for balancing and controlling movement, protecting your spine, ensuring good posture, stabilising your entire body and generating force through different planes of motion.
As always, function comes first, and the core is an incredibly important part of all functional movement. That is why it must not be neglected. Abs are often mistakenly seen as a sign of a strong core, but it is perfectly possible to have well defined rectus abdominis (the outer muscles that form a six-pack) and still possess a weak core.
ABS AND NUTRITION
If a six-pack is important for you, or you want to get a flatter stomach, then nutrition is everything. It is impossible to out train a bad diet. Consult a nutritionist, work out the caloric state that you need to operate within, determine your daily macronutrient goals then stick to the plan. Consistency is key here.
These five workouts each designed to strengthen and tone the core. Add them into your programming and have fun.
- 10-minutes with as little rest as possible.
- 20 Second L-Sit Hold (rings or parallettes)
- 20 Second Hollow Rock
- 20 Seconds of Sit-Ups
Repeat 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.
- 20 seconds holding plank
- 10 seconds rest
- 10 hollow rocks
- 10 V-ups
- 10 tuck ups
- 10 sec hollow hold
Rest 1 minute.
Every 90 seconds, 4 rounds.
- 6 Around the world with plate above head (15kg, 3 each way)
- 20 Russian Twists and then hold the Hollow Rock position for 20-30 seconds
The goal is to maximise the amount of time spent in the hollow rock position.
- 30 sec hollow rock hold
- 5 V-ups
- 10 hollow rocks
Rest 1 minute between each round or partner up and go round for round.
COOL DOWN MOBILITY EXERCISES
Once you have completed your workout, it is a good idea to stretch out your core muscles and take the opportunity to enhance your mobility. Use the following exercises.
Exercise 1: Turkish Get Ups
Get ups help improve core, shoulder and hip mobility and stability in a variety of planes of motion. In addition, they improve energy transfer, core strength, and—when you’re able to tolerate more load—are also an effective total body strengthening exercise.
Exercise 2: Leg Lower with Core Engagement
This core exercise helps lengthen your hamstrings while activating your core. This one’s a must if you have tight hamstrings.
Exercise 3: Bridge with Band-Resisted Hip Flexion
This core exercise will help address any hip flexion dysfunction you may have by recruiting your psaos (a hip flexor that is often overpowered by your glutes). This exercise also simultaneously activates the glute of your base leg as you come into good hip extension.
Exercise 4: 1/2 Kneel to Split Stance with Pallof
These will help improve your hip flexor mobility while simultaneously activating your glutes, obliques and anterior core.
The adidas Here to Create Heartracer Jacket is functional and highly useful during this phase of your training session as you can throw it on as you cool down and perform the exercises.
It also doubles up as stylish streetwear, which is perfect as you head off out of the gym after you have finished.