CORE STABILITY WORKOUT | Improve Athletic Performance

July 9, 2017 by VAHVA Fitness

Core stability workout with 4 great exercises. The primary purpose is to train the core and you only move the weights to make it harder for the core to stabilize!

When you watch athletes doing strength & conditioning, they do a massive amount of core work. And no wonder: core is a driving force behind lots of athletic prowess, speed and power.

One of the important attributes of the core is not to just bend and twist, but to stabilize the midsection. Surprisingly, this stabilization of the core makes you fast and powerful beyond comparison.

A strong stable core gives you a strong base to move from and to generate power. Without this stability it's hard to be agile and move fast to different directions. Your balance will also improve thanks to the strong base.

Working on these core stability drills will make your core (abs, obliques and lower back) stronger and healthier which means less injuries and lower back problems. 

Your exercise form in many different exercises like squats, push ups and presses will also improve because the core is not interfering with the targeted muscles.

These workouts and exercises are also excellent for core strength, mobility and stability:

With these exercises the primary focus is on the core. Although you are doing pull ups and rows, their purpose is to merely create instability and make it more challenging for the core to stabilize.

The exercises demonstrated here can be very challenging in the beginning. If you are looking for a complete core training guide with nutrition plans, see Abs 20XX which is excellent for beginners and also for more seasoned trainees to do.

Hollow Body Press

hollowbody barbell press for core stability

The purpose of the pressing in the hollow body press is to create instability and make stabilizing more difficult.

Just holding the hollow body position can be quite difficult - start doing bench press in the hollow body hold and it becomes MUCH harder.

A light barbell is a great tool to start with and is the easiest option. Wide grip tends to be harder than using a narrow grip. 

Single dumbbell is also great and one great benefit of using a single dumbbell is that it makes the weight distribution uneven and forces your obliques muscles to work hard to keep the balance. 

When you do the single arm dumbbell press, flare out your elbow to make it more challenging. Keeping the elbow close to the body makes it much easier. You can also do dumbbell flyes.

The weight should be very light (10-30 kg in total) and the form needs to be very slow and controlled in the beginning. Later you can make the press faster but in this case the core stability needs to be on a high level.

Although the purpose is to hit the core and not the pressing muscles, you will notice that the pressing muscles will get incredibly sore thanks to the pure form.

Hollow Body Pull Up

core stability hollowbody pull up

Hollow body pull up when done right is one of the most challenging pull up variations you can do.

The core should be stiff as a rock and the core should constantly try to neutralize your movement by stabilizing. In other words, your core shouldn't assist the pull up at all - instead it should almost try to resist it.

When the hollow body pull up is done right, your pull up form becomes very pure and slow because there is no jerking or momentum created by the core or any other muscles.

You don't have to go all the way down. The purpose here is to develop core stability which means partial reps are perfectly fine.

Stability Row

stability row for core

Stability row is done with a dumbbell, a barbell or a trap bar. All of these are good choices although the stimulus will be a bit different depending on your choice.

Bend your knees slightly and take a very good stable position with your hips and core.

Pick a light weight. You are primarily working the stability of your hips and core, not the pulling muscles.

Your hips and core should be as stiff and as rigid as possible. This means ZERO movement in the hips or knees. Row in a slow controlled fashion while holding the posture.

Plank Pull Through

plank pull through stability core

Plank pull through is one of the hardest plank variations out there. You don't really understand how hard it is until you try it!

The point here is to take the plank position and start moving a sandbag or any type of weight from side to side while keeping the core stable.

This will burn your abs, obliques and lower back more than ever before. Moving the weight creates rotational forces which means your core needs to anti-rotate. 

The beginner version is to do the plank pull through with a shoulder width stance. Once it gets easier, you can move the legs together (hard for obliques) and even do the plank with just one leg and one arm at the time.

In the beginning move the weight very slowly (it will be the most effective). Eventually you can move the weight with little constant pushes which is the most challenging for the core.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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