The 3 Best Core Strengthening Exercises

What is the core, what muscles contribute to the core and why it is so important to strengthen these muscles?

Depending on what literature you read ‘The Core’ is composed of as many as thirty-five different muscle groups connecting into the spine, hip area and pelvis. In order to simplify the Core muscles, I will divide them into four regions; abdominals (transverse abdominis, External oblique, Rectus abdominis, internal oblique), back extensors, lateral trunk muscles, and the hip muscles.

The core is the center of gravity within the body and where all movement begins. It is also the center of stability for the lower limbs and from the foot to the hip. In order for these muscles to move bone other muscles need to hold on to bones creating a solid base of support. Therefore, the muscles in the core function as stabilizers and/or mobilize bone to allow movement. 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 pain, athleticism and overall performance with any task.

Exercise 1)
The Russian Twist with medicine ball; this rotational exercise is great for working your obliques. It also works your back muscles which will help to strengthen and support your spine. How to perform the exercise;

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  1. Sit up on the floor with your knees bent and your heels resting on the floor
  2. Grip the ball with your hands together in front of you with the arm’s bent keeping – your hands should be level with the bottom of your ribcage
  3. Lean slightly back without bending your spine and fully twist to one side keeping your hands linked together
  4. Make sure you keep your torso upright at all times to prevent curving the spine.

Exercise 2)

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

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How to perform the Pallof Press — take a deep breath in through your nose, exhale through the mouth drawing your ribs down to keep a stacked position (chest over pelvis). Push away with your hands and exhale.

I love the pallof press because you can modify it in many ways, it doesn’t have to be just the traditional pallof press. As described below you will learn more info about each pallof press exercise variation and for who and why I program each one.

The Pallof Press; is a great variation for lower back pain suffers, bowlers, golfers, tennis players, and baseball players. The palof press and rotation component is a great progression from the traditional palof press which is very beneficial for keen golfers with lower back pain. The lateral lunge movement focuses on a weight transfer to one leg and loads the hip and knee. Being able to resist rotation while loading these joints can have great performance enhancement benefits to help generate rotational forces e.g. golfers.

Exercise 3) 

Core Torso Rotation MEDX machine or commonly nicknamed in the gym as the ‘twisty’. This machine is a unique padded restraint system which neutralizes other body segments e.g., the shoulder, arm and chest muscles while isolating core muscles.

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This machine effectively locks the pelvis and prevents the hip and gluteus muscles from assisting in rotation of the torso. This machine increases strength and flexibility at the core of the body, making it a favourite among lower back pain clients and keen golfers looking to increase club head speed.

There are many studies published in respected peer review journals such as “Spine & lower back pain” showing the benefits of exercising on the MedX Core Torso Rotation/Spinal Stability System, so you can be assured that the MedX Core Spinal System will deliver what we say it will.


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