Partner Core Workout Series – How To Make Core Training More Engaging

Partner Core Workout Series

 

Why Train With A Partner?

Core workouts can become repetitive and boring when consistently performed on your own. One of the smartest ways to stay motivated with your core workouts is to add variety. SO grab your gym buddy and join us in our partner core workout series! Partner core workouts are fun, engaging, and can even boost performance due to competition! In this article you’ll learn three popular core exercises that we have modified for your partner core workout. More importantly, you’ll learn appropriate regressions and progressions to find just the right challenge for you and your partner!

 

Partner Plank Variations

Planks are a traditional starting point when it comes to core workouts. However, with the amount of plank variations seen in the fitness industry, one may find it difficult to choose the best plank variation for them. It comes down to purpose, what do you want to target with the plank variation? Front planks are a sagittal dominant movement, while side planks are more frontal and transverse plane dominant movements with one of the highest gluteus medius muscle activations of any bodyweight exercise.

Static planks performed alone and in only one plane of movement can get boring! The prehab method will always strive to train all three planes of movement, thus we share with you our partner plank variation.

Benefits of performing this movement with a partner:

  • Every Muscle Action & Every Plane Of Movement: With this plank variation, we are hitting isometric, concentric, and eccentric muscle actions of all the core musculature. Adding the resistance band component allows one partner to perform concentric muscle actions, while the other partner simultaneously performs eccentric and isometric muscle actions as demonstrated in the video.

This is an advanced core exercise! If this is too challenging, try this step-by-step progression with your partner to build up to this variation.

Without any band…

  • Front planks with alternating shoulder taps
  • Isometric unilateral front plank holds
  • Front plank to side plank movement (demonstrated in video)

 

Modified Partner Pallof Press

The Pallof Press is an excellent anti-rotation exercise that should be a staple of every core program designed. The traditional pallof press has been well documented in research to support it’s ability along with other isometric trunk exercises to enhance core stiffness (1).

This modified partner pallof press is just the stimulus variation you need to spice up your core workout! With a partner, grab a resistance band and distance yourself from one another until there is tension in the band. Now for 30-60 seconds, you and your partner will write your names, the word pallof press, or any word you would like and repeat! Level 1 is a good place to start, but if you want to increase the challenge then progress towards level 3. If the quality of movement gets sloppy with too much trunk rotation or movement, then regress to a lower level or perform the movement slower.

Benefits of performing this movement with a partner:

  • Variable Resistance At Variable Angles – because both individuals are moving the band , this exercise is very different than a band anchored to a wall. You would not be able to achieve the varying amounts of resistance, and varying angle changes to the same degree without a partner!

Yes, this modified version performed with a partner may have more trunk movement than the traditional pallof press, BUT that is ok. Excessive, uncontrolled trunk movement should be avoided, minor movement is to be expected with this partner variation. If you find you and your partner are having trouble, simply slow down the movement and regress. The faster you go and the less base of support you have (level 3), the harder it is. Don’t have a partner? Here is how to do this modified pallof press without one.

 

Partner Med Ball Toss

The traditional Med Ball Toss against the ground and/or wall is a great exercise for power development. However, when performed alone without a catch, it tends to be a concentric focused movement. As important as it is to be able to generate power in the med ball toss, it is essential to practice absorbing energy via a med ball catch! Try this variation as part of our partner core workout series.

Benefits of performing this movement with a partner:

Eccentric Control & Balance: Catching a med ball requires the core muscles to work eccentrically by slowing down the body as it turns. These are the same muscles that are responsible for slowing down the body in sport specific movements such as after a baseball swing, golf swing, or a hockey shot.

 

Conclusion

With all things in life, stimulus variation is key. Whether it be your training program, diet, or time well spent with leisure activities – mixing things up is the smartest way to avoid plateaus in motivation and gains. We hope you enjoyed our partner core workout series, and be sure to visit our back section of our blog to learn more about other variations of core exercises including dead bugs and planks

 

Thats All Folks!

 

Citations:

  1. Lee, B. C., and S. M. McGill. Effect of long-term isometric training on core/torso stiffness. J. Strength Cond. Res. 29(6):1515–1526, 2015.
  2. Boren K, Conrey C, Le Coguic J, Paprocki L, Voight M, Robinson TK. Electromyographic analysis of gluteus medius and gluteus maximus during rehabilitation exercises. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2011; 6: 206223.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *