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So what do YOU do for direct core work?


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There is no major crisis nor confusion on my part to this one.  I've taken up doing some direct core work and lower back accessories to assist in improving my major lifts and I started wondering what others do for direct core work.  That's all.

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I do roman chair sit-ups, cable crunches, side bends, suitcase holds, and hanging leg raises for ab work. I do banded hypers for erector work.

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Reverse crunches, and knee raises in the captain's chair or hanging. 

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are awesome. Dragon Flags are also a pretty standard thing for me. However, the bulk of my core work involves gymnastics(ish, I'm no gymnast), loaded carries, and other things that I don't consider "direct," despite their making my core more fatigued than anything else.

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Lever progressions (both on rings and things like dragon flags), strict toes to bar and skin the cats, weighted carries (suitcase, farmers, and overhead). Hollow holds/rocks and arch holds/rocks are regular parts of my warm ups.  I started noticing major weaknesses in my core that had become the limiting factor in my squats, so I regularly started doing heavy front-rack work. carries, step ups and lunges with kettlebells held in front rack are killer. 

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hanging leg raises

L sits

russian twists

pallof press

All push ups are elevated- I do a fair bit of spider push ups

Down ward dog work as well (leg up/down/cross)

various yoga inspired moves/workouts. 

I do ball roll outs- like the pike- but I roll all the way back to I'm on my knees- make it a combo type deal

I do hollow holds occasionally- but I find them boring.

 

 

the bellydancing helps LOL

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One thing: compression work. Basically hamstring stretch followed by 10s seated leg lift. Repeat 4-5 times.

Seriously, this is a beast mode ab workout. I hold it a bit longer, about 20 sec, but the same exercise. Also do hollow holds and supermans.

I do a ton of indirect/kind of direct core work though. L-sits, front lever progression, back lever, one arm wall handstands, straddle L, middle split hold.

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A lot of people eventually come to the conclusion that this is faulty thinking as without direct core work chances are eventually a lack of core strength will be your squatting weak point.

 

Agreed, more or less.  Doing direct core work has done nothing but improve my lifts. 

 

****

Core work:

 

back extensions

plank variations

leg lifts

hanging knee lifts

ab wheel

reverse planks

random yoga stuff

whatever they make me do at the end of kickboxing

eta: those pike things on the ball, too

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Which style squat are you using? That makes a pretty big difference on you supplemental exercises, which is really what you seem to mean to be asking about.

Waldo does body weight work- last I heard it was shrimp squats LOL

 

but I know he's extremely proficient at pistol squats as well.

 

I would agree with him though- I have very strong abs- and I laid off doing ab work for a while- and it was a mistake. 

 

The other issue with this mentality is that you can have strong abs- and not know how to fire them to brace properly- doing more ab work- will only help with that.   There is no good reason to NOT do abs... but beltless front squats certainly are a nice addition to the "works abs more" group LOL

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Yoga class! Which generally involves planks, boat pose, bridges, and other things.

 

Plus extra planks & prone jacknife on ball on my weight days.

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Waldo does body weight work- last I heard it was shrimp squats LOL

 

but I know he's extremely proficient at pistol squats as well.

 

I would agree with him though- I have very strong abs- and I laid off doing ab work for a while- and it was a mistake. 

 

The other issue with this mentality is that you can have strong abs- and not know how to fire them to brace properly- doing more ab work- will only help with that.   There is no good reason to NOT do abs... but beltless front squats certainly are a nice addition to the "works abs more" group LOL

Yeah, I was quoting more general terms for barbell folks. I've "hung around" enough barbell folks that I have a pretty good idea of how stuff works. Core will never be a limiting factor for BW/DB squats (unless you count the flexors as core work).

The idea that squats is all the core work you need isn't entirely true for most people.

Likewise squats alone don't hold a candle to what can be achieved with high level direct core work.

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The whole "just focus on the big lifts and they'll work your core sufficiently" is great advice for the true beginner who is clinging to the idea that half of their workouts should be made up of 23 different crunch variations and such. In that case, the goal is to get them to simplify and focus. Plus beginners don't have to worry as much about targeting their weak points because they're nothing but weak points. Over time this stops being true, and many lifters find that they need to do some additional core work just like lifters find that they need to do extra glute work or grip work. 

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Yeah, I was quoting more general terms for barbell folks. I've "hung around" enough barbell folks that I have a pretty good idea of how stuff works. Core will never be a limiting factor for BW/DB squats (unless you count the flexors as core work).

The idea that squats is all the core work you need isn't entirely true for most people.

Likewise squats alone don't hold a candle to what can be achieved with high level direct core work.

no question.  I love that you always are willing to include that in your advice- here and MFP.  it's nice to know you know both sides. 

 

I honestly for me was surprised- despite all my dance- and the fact if I flex its' no question a firm surface of abs- that's my weak point on squats- that and I really was not having a better idea of how to properly brace- both of which can/were solved with more direct core work.  

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