Ah, core strengthening, such a misunderstood component of any exercise program…. Ask anyone at a gym to name their top core exercises and you will hear a lot about crunches, sit ups, and leg raises. These are great for sculpting that 6-pack everyone Is so obsessed with, but they neglect the other 75% of your core, the sides and back (obliques and erectors). While these muscles may not be as aesthetically pleasing, they are crucial when it comes to having a well-supported spine, core stabilization, and proper muscular balance in the body.
There are a variety of exercises that can specifically target the sides and back of your core, but only a handful that can get the whole thing. Let me introduce you to the best core exercise that you’re not doing: The Pallof Press
Now I know this doesn’t look like much but when you do it, you will feel it. When your body is resisting the rotational force caused by the band you will feel your entire core flex and brace. This Is known as anti-rotational strength and it recruits a large selection of muscles to stabilize your core. This core stabilization is key to nearly every exercise you do in the gym because you need a strong and stable core to perform movement effectively in the upper or lower body.
Try it out for yourself. You can use electric bands or a pulley machine. Follow the step in the video above. Plug this into your routine at the beginning as a great warm-up (1 set facing each direction for 10 reps or 30s) or at the end with your other core exercises (2-3 sets facing each direction for 10 reps or 30s).
– Andy Adams, B.S., CSCS, Pn1
Health Coach, Trivida