George Greene's Sports Performance Training

Greene Strength

Blog #1: Core Training

One of the most common topics you hear discussed in the fitness industry is core training. For years it was endless sit-ups and crunches but over the last decade research has shown there are more effective ways to train that will help you look and feel better. I’ll discuss some of my favorites here and give you some example workouts to get you started!

  1. Pall of Press:  The pallof press is considered an anti-rotation exercise. Preventing rotation means that your body can resist forces that may try to rotate or move it. I would suggest using resistance bands or a cable column for this exercise.
  2. Suit Case Carries:  This is an exercise that is a staple in many of my programs. It challenges your grip, core, and shoulders when done correctly.
  3. Landmine Rotations: A great rotational core exercise that challenges your obliques. This is not an exercise you need to load with very much weight to get a stimulus. Start light and progress up.
  4. Reverse crunches: This is an anterior core exercise that many people report feeling in their lower abs. Make sure you “ground down” your lower back using your belly to protect your spine at the beginning of the movement.
  5. Shoulder Taps:  The shoulder tap plank challenges the core as well as your shoulder stability. Be sure to avoid rocking side to side and maintain flat back. If you notice your body shifting around too much adjust your feel slightly out.
  6. Knee Tap Planks:  The knee tap planks are a staple in many yoga programs. Like the shoulder tap planks, you want to maintain a flat back while performing this exercise and avoid rotating.
  7. Hanging Leg Raises:  Another challenging core exercise is the hanging leg raise. Like the suitcase carries this movement challenges your core as well as your upper body so you get more bang for your buck.
  8. Barbell Roll-Outs:  This is my all-time favorite core exercise.  When done correctly you are working both your anterior and posterior core as well as your upper body. I listed barbell roll-outs because they are the most readily available, but these can be done with the traditional ab wheel as well.
  9. Single Arm Sit-Up Press:  The single arm sit-up press increases strength and stability throughout the core and shoulders with an emphasis on the lower abs and obliques. Performing the exercise with one arm ensures muscular balance on both sides of the body.
  10. Physioball Stir the Pot:  This movement is deceivingly challenging and serves as an advanced variation of the plank. Start by placing your forearms on a Physioball while maintaining a flat back in a plank position. Once you feel stable begin to make small circles both clock wise and counter clockwise. The closer you keep your feet together on this movement the more difficult it becomes!

Sample Core Sessions
It is important to note that you do not need to do all of these in one session. Pick a few each day and focus on quality over quantity!

Day 1: Circuit #1
*No rest between exercises
*3 rounds with 1-minute rest in between
*Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds

A1) Shoulder tap planks x30 seconds
A2) Hanging Leg Raise x30 seconds
A3) Reverse crunches x30 seconds
A4) Knee tap planks

Day 2: Circuit #2
*No rest between exercises
*2 rounds with 1-minute rest in between
*Each exercise has assigned reps

A1) Barbell roll outs: x8
A2) Landmine rotations: x6 each side
A3) Suit case carries: x30yds each arm
A4) Single arm sit-up press: x6 each arm