Want to have a functional core that will keep your posture on point, lower your risk of pain and injury, and have you performing at your max in the gym or in your sport?
Stop doing sit-ups, side crunches, and leg raises as your only core exercises.
Those exercises are great for working out the core if done correctly.
The problem is that by only performing the exercises mentioned above, you are missing out on what your core is actually meant to do.
Let me explain.
Let’s think about a rubber band for a second.
When you pull a rubber band it stretches. When you let go of the rubber band it will coil back to normal. This is exactly what a concentric and eccentric muscle action is – the muscle shortens and then lengthens.
Now think of the same rubber band stretched out without letting it coil back to normal.
Even though there is no movement of the band, it is still stretched out and there is still tension on it. This is similar to an isometric muscle action – there is tension in the muscle but it is not moving.
Sit-ups, side crunches, and leg raises are all concentric/eccentric core exercises. Like I said, they are all great exercises and they will target the core and they will strengthen it.
But the most important role of your core is to contract isometrically to provide stability to your spine and torso.
This is why exercises like planks, side planks, pallof presses, deadbugs, and bear holds are some of the best to functionally strengthen your core.
Those exercises create tension in the core without actual movement occurring throughout the body.
The Main Takeaway
If you want a core that can perform at a high level, it is important that your core training is well balanced.
DO your traditional core exercises as these do have their benefit.
DO add movements like planks, side planks, and bear holds to your core training program.