How to Start Training Your Core | STACK
X

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

How to Start Training Your Core

April 3, 2013 | Robert Taylor

Must See Strength Training Videos

Ab and core training attracts fads, gimmicks and promises of six-packs that fail to deliver the goods. Unfortunately, many people try to train their core when this term is completely unsubstantiated. Notice that many folks have different definitions of the core? It's because it doesn't anatomically exists.

Instead of training your core, you should train your midsection muscles in a similar fashion to how you train other parts of your body. You must perform exercises that flex, extend, rotate and stabilize your torso. Failing to account for one of these movements will impair your ability to generate power and resist movement.

With a quick Google search, it's easy to find exercises from supposed experts that train this part of the body. However, people don't realize that the spine is a delicate structure, so training your midsection needs to be progressive to be productive. If you are weak and try an advanced exercise, you will only set yourself up for injury.

To achieve your goals, you need to learn what works for you. It might come in the form of flexion, stability or group-up exercises . Remember, you have to work more than your abs.

What follows is a sample 12-week progressive 'core' workout for beginners. It will both strengthen your midsection and allow you to learn about your body. It will also prepare you for more advanced exercises involving standing and suspended positions.

Off-Season (Weeks 1-5)

  • Iso Abs - Perform Front Plank, Side Plank and Superman in circuit fashion
    • Front Plank  - 1x30 seconds, 1x40 seconds, 1x50 seconds, 1x60 seconds, 1x70 seconds
    • Side Plank (each side) - 1x20 seconds, 1x30 seconds, 1x40 seconds, 1x50 seconds, 1x60 seconds
    • Superman - 1x30 seconds, 1x40 seconds, 1x50 seconds, 1x60 seconds, 1x70 seconds
  • Alternating Bent-Knee V-Ups - 2x15, 2x20, 2x25, 2x30, 2x35
  • Weighted Physioball Crunches - 2x20, 2x25 (5 lbs.), 2x30 (5 lbs.), 2x35 (10 lbs.), 2x40 (10 lbs.)
  • Weighted Sky Touches - 2x15, 2x15, 2x20 (5 lbs.), 2x20 (5 lbs.), 2x25 (10 lbs.)

Pre-Season (Weeks 6-10)

  • Iso Abs - Perform Front Plank, Side Plank and Superman in circuit fashion
    • Front Plank  - 1x40 seconds, 1x50 seconds, 1x60 seconds, 1x70 seconds, 1x80 seconds
    • Side Plank (each side) - 1x20 seconds, 1x30 seconds, 1x40 seconds, 1x50 seconds, 1x60 seconds
    • Superman - 1x40 seconds, 1x50 seconds, 1x60 seconds, 1x70 seconds, 1x80 seconds
  • Bent Knee V-Ups - 2x20, 2x25, 2x30, 2x35, 2x40
  • Weighted Reverse Trunk Rotations - 2x15, 2x20, 2x20, 2x25 (5 lbs.), 2x25 (5 lbs.)
  • Weighted Toe Touches - 2x20 (5 lbs.), 2x20 (5 lbs.), 2x25 (10 lbs.), 2x25 (10 lbs.), 2x30 (10 lbs.)

In-Season (Weeks 11-12)

Watch this SMARTER Team Training clinic presentation for more info on how to train these muscles.:

Photo: skimble.com

Topics: CORE
Robert Taylor
- Robert Taylor is the founder and owner of SMARTER Team Training. He has served as the head strength and conditioning coach at Loyola University Maryland;...
Robert Taylor
- Robert Taylor is the founder and owner of SMARTER Team Training. He has served as the head strength and conditioning coach at Loyola University Maryland;...
Must See
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 4,190,528
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 4,320,533
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 26,077,977

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach Power and Stability Workout Views: 300,475
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 55,686
Andre Ethier's Arm-Strengthening Superset Views: 647,833
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

How Greg Nixon Gets More 'Twerk' on the Track
Views: 950,900
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,223,481
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,298,334
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,252,897
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,898

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

INTRODUCTION Single arm movements are a pivotal aspect of any effective training program. For overhead and unilaterally skilled athletes, this skill set...

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Build Wrestling Strength With the Gable Lock Isometric Hold

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

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

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Todd Durkin