Four Ways To Get Better Core Engagement
Looking to improve your core strength? If so, one of the best ways to do so is not by hitting the crunch mats and spending hours crunching away each week.
Instead, you want to focus on how you can recruit your core muscles to a larger degree during your workout session. Remember, your abs are working hard for you in each and every movement you make. By focusing on little chances you can make to your workout routine, you can ensure that you are maximizing this engagement and therefore maximizing your strength generation capacity.
Let’s take a closer look at four smart ways that you can fully engage your core during your next workout session.
Perform Single-Limb Exercises
One of the best and fastest ways to get superior core engagement is to start performing single-limb exercises. For instance, rather than doing a regular squat, focus on doing a single leg squat.
Rather than doing a normal style deadlift, try single leg deadlifts. Even doing single upper body exercises such as single arm press or single arm lateral raises can help bring your core into play to a larger degree.
Adding these to your protocol from time to time will dramatically increase overall core engagement.
Utilize An Exercise Ball
Next, you’ll also want to consider bringing an exercise ball into the mix. You can perform many of your upper body moves while seated on top of the exercise ball, which will destabilize the body, forcing the core to contract harder to keep you balanced.
Try the chest press, chest fly, shoulder press, or lateral raises all while sitting or lying on top of the ball.
For your lower body, you can also utilize a bosu ball to perform moves as well, which will give you the same idea. Simply stand on the bosu ball and perform your squats, deadlifts, and even lunges up on the bosu ball and then back down again.
Focus On Compound Exercises
Moving along, the next thing you’ll want to be focusing in is performing plenty of compound exercises in your workout routine. These are moves that are going to work more than one muscle group at once, requiring more overall effort on your part.
By working multiple muscles at once, you’ll also by nature increase your core engagement simply because the exercise spans over a larger portion of the body.
Compound moves also give you the absolute best results for your time invested as well, so that’s yet another important reason to be performing these exercises.
Perform Power Based Lifts
Finally, the last way to recruit more of your abdominal core is to focus on power based lifts. This includes the clean and press, the clean and jerk, squats, and deadlifts. These also qualify as compound movements but they take it up a notch further.
These power based exercises will have your muscles contracting rapidly, trying to hoist the weight quickly to develop maximum power and strength. As a result, you get greater core engagement as the core muscles are needed to hoist the weight up quickly.
So there you have some of the best ways to get greater core engagement as you go about your workout program. With some smart planning, you can ensure that you are able to maximize this element of your fitness level – all without spending hours on the abdominal mats.