14Dec

Killer Core Conditioning

Keeping your core conditioned during the "holidaze"!!!

TRXstrap plank

Not long ago, I sent a fellow trainer a text asking for some killer core exercises.  I was not disappointed when trainer Davis Murphy sent a short list of great ideas including the Plank with Sandbag Drag.  What is funny about his suggestion is that I thought he wanted me to try doing his exercise idea using the TRX suspension trainer.  In fact, he meant for me to try the exercise on the floor!  Well, our misunderstanding led to the creation of the TRX Plank with Sandbag Drag.

This exercise proved to be a super fun chanllege and a great addition to my current core program (see below).  With the holidays (or for some of you, the "holidaze") upon us, we all need a little extra "something" to get us through the busy schedule of parties and fantastic FOOD.  Try adding one or two sessions of this core conditioning program to your weekly workouts (I like to do it on my long, slow cardio days) for a new challenge.


The traditional plank exercise is a wonderful isometric core stability exercise that targets the abs, back, shoulders, hip flexors, glutes and even calves (primary muscles: erectors, rectus abdominis and tranverse abdominis; secondary muscles: traps, rhomboids, rotator cuffs, delts, pecs, serratus anterior, gluteus maximus, quads and the gastrocnemius.

The TRX Plank with Sandbag Drag is "simply" a progression of the traditional plank.  The progressions included in this version of the plank are:

  • Reducing contact with the floor
  • Reducing overall stability
  • Increasing the resistance on all of the muscle groups involved
  • Adding a dynamic componet
  • Adding changes in directional force
Now that you know what muscles on the body the exercise works, here is the "how to" along with some professional tips to increase your success and THE BURN!!!
 
Equipment you will need:
  • TRX suspension straps
  • Sandbag or dumbbell
  • Mat or Airex pad for your knees (optional)
  • Mat for your hands (optional)
Instructions:
  • Position the TRX so that the rigid handles hang at about knee height on your body.
  • Put your feet in the straps and get in the straight arm plank position.
    • Make sure that you have a neutral spine or slightly lifted glutes
    • Tighten your glutes
  • Position your weight or sandbag just below and to the left of your left hand.
  • Exhale, tighten your core, press your left hand into the floor, drag the bag or pick up the weight and move it to the right.
  • Maintain your hip position, do not scissor your legs and do not swing from side to side.
Notes and Regressions:
  • The TRX Plank with Sandbag Drag is a VERY advanced exercise.
  • To progress this exercise, play with your leg position, the weight, the reps or duration and the cadence of the exercise.
  • To regress this exercise, you can try a few different things:
    • While still using the suspension straps, squeeze your glutes, widen your leg position and use a more narrow hand position.
    • If the exercise proves too challenging to do in the suspension straps, try doing it on the floor first - without any suspension.  Once on the floor, play with your leg position - wider is easier and narrow is harder - one leg off the ground is even harder.

Kimberly Putman's Current Core Program

  1. TRX  Plank with Sandbag Drag - 1 minute duration with 5-25 lb dumbbell or sandbag
  2. TRX Bent Knee Sit Ups with 60 degree knee bend, hands behind the head - 2 minute duration (or reduce duration and increase knee bend)
  3. TRX  Plank with Sandbag Drag - 1 minute duration with 5-25 lb dumbbell or sandbag
  4. TRX Seated Pilates V Static Hold with strong exhalations - 1 minute
  5. TRX  Plank with Sandbag Drag - 1 minute duration with 5-25 lb dumbbell or sandbag
  6. TRX Tic Tocks - 2 minute duration with a 2 count hold at the bottom of each repetition
  7. TRX Pendulum Oblique Twist - 1 minute duration (can regress to knees to chest, knees to opposite elbow or simple suspended plank hold as needed until you can sustain exercise duration for 1 minute)
  8. TRX Side Plank (15X3 each side) - alternating hip lift with knees to chest
  9. TRX Pendulum Oblique Twist - 1 minute duration (can regress to knees to chest, knees to opposite elbow or simple suspended plank hold as needed until you can sustain exercise duration for 1 minute)
  10. Weighted Ball V-Up Roll Up with Controlled Leg Extension to Floor - 1 minute duration (if preferred you can do Reverse Curls for 1 minute)
  11. TRX Pendulum Oblique Twist - 1 minute duration (can regress to knees to chest, knees to opposite elbow or simple suspended plank hold as needed until you can sustain exercise duration for 1 minute)
  12. Weighted BOSU Dead Bug - Tabata style (30/20X6)
  13. TRX Pendulum Oblique Twist - 1 minute duration (can regress to knees to chest, knees to opposite elbow or simple suspended plank hold as needed until you can sustain exercise duration for 1 minute)
  14. Parallel Standing Cable Twists with Anti-Rotation Holds (15X3)
  15. Kneeling Cable Cross Body Lift with Rope (15X3)
  16. Standing Cable Wood Chop with single handle (15X3)
  17. Weighted Single Side Bird Dogs  - 1 minute duration each side
  18. Back Extension Exercises of your choice
  19. Weighted Hip Bridges on Big Ball - 2 minute duration X3
  20. Cable Hip Extensions - rear and inner thigh crossovers 15X3 or Same Side Balance Quadraped Floor Work for hips and glutes
As always, enjoy the new exercise, take a stab at my Current Core Program and contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions!  If you are new to exercise, make sure that you get clearance from your doctor before staring ANY fitness program, and keep in mind that both the exercise introduced in this blog along with the Current Core Program are designed for those with a more advanced level of fitness.
 
 

 

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