In this article you will learn a six week core training program that is supported by research to increase passive core stiffness. As explained by the great Stuart McGill, improving core stiffness can help with the ability to transfer force and can enhance the amount of load the spine can handle. Both of these attributes can improve an individual’s athleticism and overall performance with any task!
An article by Benjamin C. Y. Lee and Stuart M. McGill in 2015 compared a long term dynamic (i.e., curl up) vs. isometric (i.e., plank) core training program. A six week core training program consisting of isometric exercises was superior to dynamic core exercises in enhancing core stiffness. Below you will find videos of the exercises in the core training program broken down into 3️⃣ phases.
The video demonstrates week 1️⃣ & 2️⃣ exercises from the core training program.
1️⃣ Plank ‼️Transition Not Included In Article But Worth The Challenge‼️
2️⃣ Front Hold
3️⃣ Modified Torsional Buttress
4️⃣ Modified Side Plank
5️⃣ Bird Dog
The video demonstrates week 3️⃣ & 4️⃣ from the core training program.
⚫️ Anterior Pallof Press
⚫️ Posterior Pallof Press
⚫️ Anti-rotation Pallof Press
⚫️ Suitcase hold
The video demonstrates week 5️⃣ & 6️⃣ exercises from the core training program.
⚫️ Kettlebell Unilateral Rack Walk
⚫️ Swiss Ball Stir The Pot
⚫️ TRX Inverted Row
⚫️ Half-kneeling Wood Chops
Why Core Stiffness Matters
Here is an excerpt from the article that greatly summarizes why core stiffness matters.
“In essence, when sufficient core stiffness is lacking, athlete movement becomes inefficient and manifested by performance decrements and can increase injury risk. Many athletic tasks involve stability about the frontal and transverse planes; consider a football player who sprints 5 yards forward and powerfully cuts left. If lateral core stiffness is insufficient, energy leaks causing buckling at the torso compromises speed and increases known injury mechanisms of spine bending under load (28) and knee valgus buckling (20).”
Why Isometric Exercises?
You could argue weight lifting exercises activate the core. However, traditional barbell exercises such as the squat and deadlift are sagittal plane dominant exercises. The authors of this article support the notion that this core training program is better at creating 3-dimensional spinal stability. Also, due to the fact this core training program is mostly body-weight exercises, the amount of external load volume on the body is minimal compared to traditional weight lifting. The authors suggest this core training program is an excellent mid-season option for athletes to perform on training days and during their pregame warm-ups in efforts to reduce the risk of injuries!
Want More Core Exercises?
Did you like this article? Do you want more core exercises? Check out our PrehabX Exercise Library and on the left click on muscle tag, followed by the core tag!