The Year-Round Core Workout

January 24, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

Must See Strength Training Videos

Is your conditioning program still only focusing on the big three: strength, size and speed? If so, you're missing an essential fourth "S" to complete your training package: stability—more specifically, core stability. Why is core stability so important for optimizing sports performance? A strong core prevents common sports ailments like stiffness in the lower back and strained muscles. It also makes you more efficient in sport-specific movements like twisting and turning. (Take this test: How Strong is Your Core?)

To really train for the season, your workout needs to involve all four "S" components. Try this challenging full-body workout that incorporates core stability into every exercise.

The Four "S" Workout

Sets/Reps: Perform two consecutive sets of each exercise combo, with no rest between sets. This will also boost your muscular endurance, another key sports-functional modality. Rest 30 to 45 seconds and hydrate between exercise combos.

Begin with a lower- and upper-body dynamic warm-up and finish with a lower- and upper-body cool-down involving static stretches to promote flexibility.

Elevated Push-Ups and Prone Plank Combo

Push-Ups develop upper-body size and strength by targeting the triceps and chest, and the shoulder and upper, middle and lower back muscles. Prone Planks enhance core stability, effectively strengthening abdominal, lower and middle back muscles.

  • Place feet atop a bench or chair and perform 10 Push-Ups
  • Take three seconds to lower and one second to push up
  • Immediately follow with a 60-second prone plank

Med Ball Side Lunges with Twists and Sprints

Side Lunges with Twists advance core stability, especially in the oblique and groin areas; they also build lateral leg strength. 40-yard sprints magnify speed.

  • Holding a 10- to 12-pound medicine ball with arms extended at chest level, perform 10 right side lunges while simultaneously twisting and moving the ball across your body to the right
  • Raise ball overhead and sprint forward 40 yards
  • Backpedal to start and do 10 left side Lunges/Ball Twists
  • Follow it up with 40-yard sprint

Single Leg Dumbbell Squat and Overhead Presses with Single Leg Cross Rows

This lower- and upper-body exercise combo improves balance by forcing core muscles to stabilize during each movement while also stimulating size and strength gains for the legs, hips, back, shoulders, triceps and biceps.

  • Begin by holding one moderately heavy dumbbell (70 to 80% RM) on your right shoulder while standing on your right leg with knee bent
  • Left foot should not touch ground throughout exercise
  • Squat and press dumbbell overhead for five to 10 reps
  • Without pausing, switch to left leg with dumbbell on left shoulder for five to 10 reps
  • Proceed to Single-Leg Cross Rows by balancing on right leg while holding dumbbell in left hand and bringing dumbbell down and across body toward right ankle for five to 10 reps
  • Switch to left leg for right arm Cross Rows for five to 10 reps

Superman and Multidirectional Sprints

This effective exercise combo is particularly beneficial come game time, when you need to get back up on your feet and accelerate in different directions. Supermans reinforce core stability while also building lower back and shoulder strength. Multidirectional sprints enhance speed for spontaneously changing direction on the court, field or ice.

  • Start the Superman exercise in a prone position on stomach with arms extended in front of your head and legs extended
  • Simultaneously raise your arms and legs up, pause for a second contracting your abdominal muscles, then lower in two seconds back to start position
  • Perform 10 reps
  • Make sure your stomach remains on the ground while lifting only your arms and legs throughout exercise
  • After completing your 10th rep, immediately rise and sprint diagonally 10 yards, then laterally 10 yards, forward 10 yards, reverse 10 yards and backpedal to start
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Must See
RGIII Talks About His Legacy RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 29,693,134
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 7,450,267
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,311,827

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Views: 200,441
Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,013,872
Joe Mauer's On-Field Baseball Skill Development Joe Mauer's On-Field Baseball Skill Development Views: 643,932
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

Most Popular Videos

Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,829
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,196,073
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,429
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 890,276
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,736

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

YardBarker