Continuing our Top 3 series from Jordan Tingman, these are her Top 3 Core Exercise Variations.
While core exercises are certainly necessary in a comprehensive program, keeping core exercises exciting means trying different variations. Athletes are always wanting something new or different, but variety has additional benefits beyond keeping athletes engaged. Because the core is so complex and supports every movement we make, using a variety of exercises creates a greater challenge for the athlete, which will in turn provide greater transfer and gains.
The first exercises I go over in this video are various Palloff variations. As stated in the video, the Palloff variations are great because they allow for the athlete to maintain an athletic position in the lower body whilst moving the upper body. You can make the Palloff press more complicated by adding in variations including chops and rotations. Feel free to mix these up and make up combinations. You could even cue each repetition. You can say “press,” “chop,” or “rotate,” and the athlete performs each variation according to your cuing, mixing it up and also challenging their mind to respond to the directions.
The next set of exercises are the crawling patterns. Crawling patterns are an excellent challenge because they not only address core posture and stability, but also challenge proprioception and scapular stability. The athlete has to maintain the crawl position with a neutral spine with knees one inch off the ground. Simply holding this position poses a challenge for many. Have the athlete get comfortable with holding this crawl pattern first before adding in the variations. As explained in this video, you can change the variations with the crawl patterns. You can do leg lifts, shoulder taps, forward, backward, and sideways crawls, bird dog variations and more.
Finally, the last group of exercises that I go over in the video are the Val Slide variations. These can be performed on a slick surface in socks, or with towels below the feet on a smooth surface. Get creative with what you can use to perform the exercises if you don’t have Val Slides. There are many core exercises that can be done utilizing this tool, but the ones included are plank sliders and mountain climbers. Ensure that your athlete can maintain a great plank position before adding in these dynamic movements.
Enjoy the exercises, and leave comments about different variations you come up with or different ways you utilize each exercise.
Look for more Top 3 lists soon.
Jordan Tingman – CSCS*, USAW L1, ACE CPT, CFL1 is a graduate of Washington State University with a B.S. in Sports Science with a Minor in Strength and Conditioning. She completed internships with the strength & conditioning programs at both Washington State University and Ohio State University, and is currently a Graduate Assistant S & C Coach at Eastern Washington University.
The IYCA High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist is the only certification created specifically for coaches training high school athletes. The course includes several hours of video instruction (including a complete Olympic lifting instructor course) and two textbooks with contributions from some of the top strength and conditioning coaches in America. Click on the image below to learn more about how to become a certified high school strength & conditioning coach.