vendredi 17 avril 2015

The 5 Hardest Core Exercises

1. Banana Roll

1. Banana Roll

Don’t let this one fool you: It may look and sound a little silly, but it’s hard work. And it’s foundational stuff: Rolling over is a skill that babies have, but many adults have lost. Get it back with this roll. HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with arms extended overhead, legs straight out. Lift into a “hollow” position -- arms and legs lifted, lower back pressed into the ground, head in line with the arms. Engage your core and roll to your left using your abdominal muscles, not your hips. Roll until you’re on your stomach and are in a Superman “flying” position. Roll back the way you came. Now roll to the right onto your stomach and return to start again.

2. Barbell Hip Thrust
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2. Barbell Hip Thrust

Your core isn’t just your gut, your glutes and hips are involved too. This move -- a favorite of Bret Contreras, CSCS, aka “The Glute Guy” -- is one of the best exercises for challenging and strengthening your backside. HOW TO DO IT: Start seated on the ground with a bench behind you and a loaded barbell over your hips. Your upper back and shoulders should be on the bench. Drive through your feet and extend your hips by contracting your glutes, raising the bar until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Return to the starting position and repeat.

3. Barbell Floor Wiper

3. Barbell Floor Wiper No list of advanced core moves would be complete without an example from the “300” workout. This variation on the classic supine move involves a challenge: holding a loaded barbell straight in front of your chest throughout the move. HOW TO DO IT: Grab a barbell loaded with one 45-pound plate on each side. Get on your back and hold the bar directly over your chest with straight arms. Keep your feet together and legs straight as you bring both feet up to the left plate then return them to the floor. Next, bring your legs up to the right plate and return them to the floor.

4. Body Saw

4. Body Saw

Holding a plank -- especially on your forearms -- is probably a piece of cake by now. Instead of hanging out statically for five minutes, change the length of the lever to challenge your core. HOW TO DO IT: Assume a forearm-plank position on a slick floor with a towel or slides under your toes. Slide your body forward and back slightly by hinging at your elbows and shoulders, maintaining a rigid body line from head to heels throughout the move.

7. Dragon Flag
Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com

5. Dragon Flag

If this move is tough enough for the Italian Stallion, it’s tough enough for you. While you may not rock the dragon on a farmhouse wooden table with a fire burning in the background while you train to avenge the death of your friend and formal rival, you can pretend that’s why you’re working on this punishing move. HOW TO DO IT: Lie faceup on a bench and grab the bench next to your ears so that your elbows are bent and your upper arms are next to your head. Your hands are there simply for support -- don’t pull with them or you’ll wrench your neck. Use your core to roll up onto your shoulders until your body is straight and perpendicular to the ground --basically, you’re stacked on top of your shoulders. From here, slowly lower your body using your core, maintaining a straight body line. Work toward bringing your body down until it’s hovering just above the bench. Then bring it back up to the start and lower slowly again.

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