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Core Exercises That REALLY Matter!

sandbag exercises

In yesterday’s post, I wanted to dispel the myths of what functional training and core exercises were really all about. They are important terms for getting real results, so you can imagine how frustrating it is as a teacher of movement, to see people dismiss or misapply these important ideas. Especially when something as trendy as core exercises come into play!

Even in 2018, we still fall prey to feeling like the BEST core exercises are the ones that leave our abs screaming for days! Sure, you worked your abs, but did you improve your core? Believe it or not, there is a difference!

If I had to say one of the most significant differences between the concepts of functional training and how bodybuilding still rules how most people train, is the idea of improving how our body moves. In both cases, we can have exercises that REALLY make our muscles burn, tired, and sore. If that is the case, then how do we choose what to focus upon and does the idea of real world based fitness even truly exist? The answer is a resounding YES!

I love the above Neil deGrasse Tyson quote because asking ourselves to question what we know is how we get to the really meaningful things in life and in this case, fitness.

The reason I said in the last blog that most of our DVRT movements make no sense to people is because sadly, most of us don’t know how our bodies functional and that is especially true when it comes to our core exercises.

The true purpose of our core isn’t to look awesome in a bathing suit, I know disappointing right? Rather, the core is to serve as a platform for our body to move seamless and efficiently from. A foundation so that our legs and arms can produce strength and power with confidence and effectiveness. After all, how much power and strength can you create on a weak, unbalanced, and ready to break platform?

The good core exercises are also designed to help our limbs “speak” to one another. As I described yesterday, there is no such thing as isolating just one muscle in our body. Rather, we need to look at how our body is connected and how core exercises can increase the way our body speaks in many languages if you will.

Legendary Strength Coach, Mike Boyle, may describe real core exercises best!

“Physical therapists began to realize these diagonal patterns of extension and rotation were a vital part of movement and started to use them to provide a more real-world aspect to rehab. Specialists in rehab began to understand movement is multi-planar, and the highest form of rehab involved diagonal patterns of flexion and extension combined with rotation.

Thomas Myers in Anatomy Trains discusses what he calls the spiral and functional lines of the body, while Janda made us aware of the integrated workings of the musculature across the critical junction from the glutes to the opposite-side lat. This area, known as the thoracolumbar fascia, along with the hip joints, allows us to move force from the ground to the extremities.

sandbag exercises

The most frequent diagonal patterns we use to address these lines are called chopping and lifting patterns. Chopping is a pattern of flexion and rotation, probably best illustrated by the actions of chopping wood, or, from an athletic standpoint, throwing a baseball. Lifting is the pattern of extension and rotation, a multi-plane pushing action. Mark Verstegen describes lifting patterns as a rotational push-press.”

While the idea of lifts/chops are not unique to our DVRT core exercises, the reality is the way we teach and progress them does come into play in a big way! For one, the tension we can create against the Ultimate Sandbag and the position our shoulders take, allows us to more successfully integrate the core with lifts/chops.

sandbag exercises

The difference grip plays in getting the load in your core versus your shoulders!

Listening to the “little things” that make a big difference is what teaching is all about. Using an exercise is one thing, performing the movement at its highest level is another! That’s why Strength Coaches, David Padilla and Mike Yudin make it a part of how they train their athletes.

The reality is that real core exercises tap into challenging how our body is designed to connect and move. Sadly, we will always have those that just base an exercise effectiveness on how much it hurts, not so much on how the exercises makes you better!

Check out how the “little things” transform even the most familiar core exercises into something so much more! Don’t miss our upcoming DVRT live events HERE or save 25% on our DVRT Online education with coupon code “summersale” HERE and get 3 programs for FREE!