For those of you looking to improve physically over the term you’ll definitely want a regular core routine. The core refers to the body minus the limbs but the major core muscles reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back (not shoulders).
When your core is in balance, strong and working at its best, it is easier to move, to stretch and place demands on your body. Should you sustain injury to your back, arms or legs, the healing will be much faster if the core is healthy. When your core is not working well two things can happen. Firstly your trunk may twist and bend in undesirable ways leading to loss of control and consistency of movement in sport. This may lead to injury. Secondly you won’t store, generate and release energy effectively and efficiently which will affect your overall performance.
Generally there is no limit to the amount of core training a person can do although you should not participate if it causing you pain, and I would suggest following the routine twice a week.
Finally there are many many other exercises to strengthen the core. The ones I have chosen are a combination of those presented to me by Nicky in my first two years and from Tim Morrill’s Strength in Ultimate resources. Feel free to mix and match, try new exercises and discard ones that you don’t like.
(if not stated exercises primarily strengthen abdominal muscles)
(1) Plank- 75 Seconds- body in push up position with body weight on forearms, keep the bum low so the line of your body from your heels to your shoulders is roughly straight.
Strengthens abdominal, back and shoulder muscles.
0:00 (EMO Winter Core Routine)
(2) Push Ups- (start at 7 building up to) 15 per set- normal push ups, lowering yourself very slowly (5 seconds from top to bottom) and push up very fast (whilst remaining stable and balanced, don’t push so hard that you fall over).
Strengthens whole midsection, pectorals biceps
0:40 (Emo Winter Core Routine)
(3) Side Plank- 60 Seconds- keep your hips high so the line from toes to highest shoulder bends.
Strengthens abdominal, back and shoulder muscles (but different ones to normal Plank)
0:20 (Emo Winter Core Routine)
(4) Hallow Hold-30 seconds- keeping only your bum and midsection on the ground, keeping muscles tense to support body.
(5) Plank With Abduction- 10 on each leg- Starting in plank position, lift one foot an inch above the ground, pull the leg out horizontally away from the other leg and then bring back. Lower back to the ground leaving you in plank position. Repeat with opposite leg.
Strengthens abdominal, back, shoulders and hip abductor muscles.
(6) Forward Crawl- 5 crawls of a bedroom length- Keep your core tight throughout. Took a few minutes for me to work out what I should be doing, watch the video closely and replicate.
(7) Leg Lower- 30 seconds on each leg- Keep other leg at perpendicular to the ground. Hold very briefly (just as the lady in the video does) at horizontal and vertical.
(8) Hands To Feet Sit Ups- 8 per set- Lying on your back and keeping your legs and arms as straight as possible get your feet and hands to meet in the middle above your stomach – get your hips and shoulders off the floor – you want to go up and meet in the middle quickly but return to the floor slowly.
3:24 (EMO Winter Core Routine)
(9) Push Up Taps-(start at 5 building up to) 10 on each arm- From push up position take one hand off the ground and tap the opposite shoulder. Try not to rush it, your core should keep you balanced with only one hand on the ground.
(10) Plank With Arm Extensions –(start at 0, building up once you can do 10 push up taps) to 8 on each arm- In plank position reach one arm out to the side as far as you can and slowly return it to plank position.
NOTE: this is very difficult to do without any core movement. If you watch Colonel in the video his body does rock a little to keep him balanced. The more you do it the less core movement you should need.
2:53 (EMO Winter Core Routine)
(11) Single Leg Squat- 10 on each leg- the slower you can do it, the harder they are – keep your back straight.
Strengthens pretty every significant leg muscle.
1:54 (EMO Winter Core Routine)
All 11 exercises should cumulatively take around 30 minutes. I often like to finish by doing the first 2 exercises again because they’re my favourites. As term progresses I may comment below with some new, possibly more challenging exercises. If anyone has any of their own feel free to post them below but please explain them clearly and add video links if possible.