Core Exercises to Boost Your Power | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Core Exercises to Boost Your Power

September 1, 2010 | Featured in the September, 2010 Issue

There’s a reason why pro athletes like Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning and Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander train their entire cores—and it goes well beyond sculpting a washboard stomach.

“A strong core enables you to be a strong athlete and more efficient in your movements,” says Colorado Rapids fitness coach John Ireland.

A strong, balanced core supports the body’s structure, enabling you to execute a skill consistently, powerfully and safely. But to develop the strength to do so, you’ve got to train your entire core, including crucially important, lesser-known muscles.

The abdominal muscles are only one part of the core. The others are the obliques, low back extensors, hips flexors and glutes. All of these areas function together to efficiently transfer force between the upper and lower body.

If your core is weak, your lower or upper body can’t efficiently transfer force. And your body will attempt to compensate with extra movement, resulting in loss of balance.

Strengthening the entire core requires more than performing Crunches. Use functional exercises like Olympic lifts, variations of the Plank, and single-leg or single-arm exercises. These force you to use your hips, glutes, abs and back muscles to stabilize and generate power during an athletic skill.

Incorporating stability and rotational exercises is the key to successful core training. To gain the full benefits, replace exercises that involve flexion while lying on your back (e.g., Crunches) with off-the-ground, functional exercises.

Total Core Exercises

Throw out your ab-busting six-pack routine and add these performanceenhancing exercises to your workouts.

Med Ball Rotational Throws

  • Assume athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Stand with partner or wall five yards to the left
  • Explosively rotate through core and throw med ball at partner/ wall
  • Maintain tight abs and stable lower body during rotation
  • Receive med ball and continuously repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with partner or wall to right

Sets/Reps: 2x10-15 each side
Benefits: This exercise is a full core workout that strengthens the core rotators and hips, the source of strength and power for rotational movements involved in hitting, throwing and changing direction.

Physioball Jackknife

  • Assume Push-Up position and dig toes into top of ball
  • Keeping back flat and core stable, drive knees to chest to roll ball toward hands
  • Extend hips and knees to roll ball to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 4x10
Benefits: This unstable exercise strengthens the essential core stabilizers, which guard against injuries and provide stability throughout contact movements such as tackling, breaking tackles and boxing out.

Med Ball Back Hypers

  • Assume position on Hyper machine so upper body is perpendicular to floor
  • Hold med ball with arms extended toward ground
  • Raise upper body until parallel to floor
  • Lower with control
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2x15-18
Benefits: This extension exercise offsets focus on the abs and creates proportionate core strength. A balanced core efficiently and safely transfers force between the upper and lower body, which translates into more power.

Related link:

Watch video of Justin Verlander's strength training for baseball.

Related Exercises

Med Ball Back Hypers
Med Ball Rotational Throws
Physioball Jackknife
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Must See
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 3,142,541
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 32,426,095
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 22,862,234

Featured Videos

James Harden Core Circuit Views: 112,558
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 152,673
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 543,285
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

The Satisfaction of a Successful Routine Nothing beats the feeling of improvement. The fulfillment felt after conquering your mountainous workout...

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

5 Exercises to Develop Soccer Power

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

How NOT to Perform a Pull-Up (With Fixes)

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

How Strength Training Changed Rory McIlroy's Game

How to Improve Shoulder Strength and Flexibility

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

Todd Durkin

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength