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VAHVA Fitness

4 Avant-garde Core Exercises for Abs, Obliques and Lower Back

By VAHVA Fitness on January 14th. 2019

4 cutting-edge exercises to develop your core. These exercises are advanced and not applicable for beginners.

As a fan of martial arts, dance and sports, we take core training seriously since the core is basically involved in almost every athletic movement you can do. 

Your core doesn't only allow you to bend and twist, but it also allows you to keep your equilibrium and balance when you are moving your body in space.

If you want to get athletic and good at moving your body: don't neglect training the core. An impressive six pack and a healthy spine are also nice side effects.

When it comes to finding exercises to develop the body, we look both outside and inside to find them. As you may know, we have been traveling a lot and training with different experts to get new insights and to widen our perspective. 

We also have our own creative process for finding new exercises. All exercises and movements we do come from a need and a purpose. 

Often we are forced to develop a new exercise when we find areas in our body we need to target. Sometimes, our students have weak stubborn areas that force us to get innovative in order for us to solve the puzzle.

In this workout we have two exercises you may have seen before but also two which we doubt you will find anywhere else (although it's possible).

These 4 core exercises target all major parts of the core: abs, obliques and lower back. A workout like this can be done once or twice a week. Unfortunately, this routine is only for the advanced (there is info in the exercise instructions for beginners).

Avant-garde Core Workout Routine

Plank Dip: 5-7 repetitions

Unsupported Wall Deadlift: 5-7 repetitions

Plank Leg Swipe: 5-7 repetitions per side

Hollow Body Rock: 15-30 rocks

Rest 1 minute between rounds. Do this workout for 3-5 rounds.

Plank Dip

plank dip core lower abs exercise

The purpose of the plank dip is to strengthen the abs and the upper hip area. You will also develop supportive strength in the shoulder girdle (scapula). 

Plank dip is one of the rare ab exercises that allow you to stretch the abdominals and then contract them in their elongated state (active flexibility). This is great for mobility and strength.

Contrary to the common belief, moving your spine like this is safe to do as long as you are properly prepared for it.

If you have severe weakness in your lower back, abs or hips, you shouldn't play with your spine like this straight off the bat.

In Athlete 20XX Training System we have several similar exercises to develop these same areas in the hips and lower back. Phase 3 of Athlete 20XX basically has this same exercise in the explosive form (called Sprawl in wrestling / MMA).

Note for beginners: You start with the easier exercises to develop enough strength, mobility and stability in the spine and hips, then you are ready to do free spinal movements like this one.

Unsupported Wall Deadlift

unsupported wall deadlift athlete 20xx

Wall deadlift is also one of the exercises of Athlete 20XX. The system has 2 different variations of the wall deadlift but not this unsupported version.

This unsupported requires you to stabilize the hips so you can solely focus on arching and extending the spine. This is easier said than done which is why the basic variations of the wall deadlift need to be mastered first.

The reason why we LOVE the wall deadlift is that it's one of the rare exercises that allow us to really isolate the lower back muscles. 

All the other lower back exercises such as the deadlift, hyperextensions and glute-ham raises always involve the glutes and hamstrings which can reduce the activation of the lower back and even overpower them.

For example, some people have so strong hamstrings and glutes that they never really develop the lower back muscles in their full range of motion. By taking the additional muscles out of the equation, you can solely focus on strengthening the target area (back).

If you want to increase your movement ability, heal your back or increase your performance - this exercise should be in your repertoire.

Plank Leg Swipe

plank leg swipe exercise for obliques

Plank leg swipe is a plank so it will automatically train the abs. It's also done on just one leg at the time which means the hip muscles and quadriceps are also working hard.

However, the plank leg swipe is primarily an obliques exercise that also trains the glutes of the free leg. You swipe the leg and crunch the core inward to develop these two areas.

Keep the leg straight although a bent leg version can also be done if this one is too difficult.

This exercise is very hard for a lot of people which is why this exercise isn't for the beginners either. If you feel it too heavily on your supporting leg and abs, you may need to master the basic plank first.

If you feel like your obliques are exploding, that's a good indicator your obliques aren't very strong and need to be strengthened properly.

Hollow Body Rock

hollow body rock

Hollow body rock comes from gymnastics because in gymnastics having a strong stable core (and shoulders) is incredibly important in order for you to be able to do the amazing gymnastics stunts. 

Hollow body rock is also a fantastic exercise for general health and performance. If your abs aren't steel yet - focus on mastering the basic version called the hollow body hold where you just hold this isometric position (bend your legs if necessary).

Unless the hollow body hold feels fairly comfortable and you can hold it for long periods of time, you shouldn't bother with the advanced hollow body rock just yet.

There is a right exercise for each level and just because a person can do the harder variation, it doesn't mean the person should do the harder variation. Master the basics and you will thank us and yourself later.

This exercise is also part of Abs 20XX. The program should have the most thorough core training to date. Combine it with Athlete 20XX and you have a killer combination.

Be in the Vanguard like Joan of Arc but Respect the Old School 

There is nothing wrong with the most old school exercises. For example, we consider the sit up an excellent exercise as long as you do it properly. 

Even the basic crunch is a functional exercise if the person doing it has weak abdominals and poor mobility in the spinal flexion. In Pilates they do a lot of different crunches and the practitioners have some of the strongest and most mobile cores and spines out there.

If your training is otherwise solid, a crunch or a sit up won't kill you. In fact, not doing these two exercises may be hindering your progress.

However, there are always benefits in being ahead of the curve and filling the gaps that the traditional exercises aren't necessarily covering. Moreover, it's always more exciting to try something new to keep the training fun. 

Stray strong.

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