I want you to build your best ever core using the 5 level system that has worked for so many of the Leaner Stronger faithful.
A stronger core is going to help you not only now, but as you continue to age.
Benefits of having a stronger core include:
Prevention or relief from lower back pain
Improving your posture
Making you stronger, for day-to-day living AND in sports/exercise
So working on your core is really important. For anyone, at any age.
Disclaimer - These aren’t the only core exercise Leaner Stronger client’s perform, but they’re pivotal in their core strengthening elements. These core exercises supplement their carefully planned, personalised programmes.
Figuring out what level you’re at:
First, you need to determine the level you are at with core exercises. This can be determined either physically or just by whether you understand what I’m about to say next.
The Physical Test:
How long can you plank for?
By plank I mean with PROPER technique:
You must maintain a posterior pelvic tilt - (if you’re unsure what this is, Level 1 is your start point)
Your elbows must be underneath your shoulders, neither in front, or behind
Your body must stay parallel to the floor, without:
piking up (looking like a tent),
drooping down (like you’re thrusting the floor)
If you’re unsure on how your plank looks send me a video of your plank and i’ll give you some advice on what you need to work on!
0-60s > Start at Level 1
60-90s > Start at Level 2
90+s > Start at Level 3
The results are in…
Now, let’s move onto the programme:
LEVEL 1 - Tabletop Holds
To do this movement correctly you must:
Tilt your hips backwards (squash your lower back onto the floor)
Raise your legs up so your shins are parallel to the floor (looking like a table top)
Drift your knees away from your hips, slowly.
Drift them away to the furthest point at which you can continue squashing your lower back on the floor.
Once you reach this point, hold it for up to 60s.
Once you can complete 3 sets of 60s, having drifted your knees at least 6 inches away from your hip bone, move onto Level 2.
LEVEL 2 - Elbow Planks
Now you’ve learnt how to posteriorly tilt your pelvis. We must take this into the Plank
Keep your elbows underneath your shoulders
Maintain posterior tilt of the hips
Hips must be in line with your shoulders (avoid dipping or piking)
Once you can hold for 3 sets of 60s, move onto Level 3 - The Hollow Tucks/Holds
LEVEL 3 - Hollow Tucks/Holds
Get your big girl pants on, because now you’re stepping it up a gear.
Tilt your hips into the group (squash the lower back to the floor)
Crunch your shoulder blades off the floor
Position your hands/arms into position 1(easy), 2(medium) or 3(hard)
Your progressions - with each progression, start with Position 1 arms, and move to position 2 then 3 after you complete 3 sets of 30s at that specific position.
Hollow tuck holds, 3 sets of 30s before you move onto…
Hollow holds (single leg tuck), 3 sets of 30s before you move onto…
Full hollow holds, 3 sets of 30s
Complete that, then you can move onto Level 4
LEVEL 4 - Hanging Knee Raise
Now you’re flying!
Almost literally now… because you’re taking your hollow holds from level 3, and putting it into action from the bars
Active shoulders → pull your shoulders away from your ears
Hollow body position → like you were on the floor (the dish shape), pelvis tilted back, and core engaged
Bring your knees towards your chest, and lower them back to the start position in a controlled manner.
Now you’ve managed to smash 3 sets of 10 CLEAN reps
I think you might be ready for the big one…
LEVEL 5 - The Dragon Flag (banded)
The Holy grail….
Tie a resistance band at chest level (when you’re standing)
Your head is positioned close to your anchor, and hands grabbing tightly, elbows tucked close to your body
Pull your feet up as high as possible to start
Begin to let your feet drop down towarsd the ground, keeping your lights straight as possible
As your feet fall to the ground, squeeze your buttcheeks and push your hips through
Continue to hold this body position as tightly as possible and you lower your feet towards the floor
Give yourself a huge pat on the back when you complete 1 rep of this
Bruce Lee would be proud of you
If you can do 5 reps banded
Try 1 unbanded
Work up to complete 1-5 reps of the dragon flags.
You’re now a master of your core!
If you’ve dreamt about having a Rock Solid Core, and you’d like more personalised advice on how to do this, then why not send me a video of your plank and i’ll give you some advice on what you need to work on!
You can also book a FREE CONSULTATION with me and we can talk through any concerns you have, and all of your options to start achieving your health & fitness goals!
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