When people think of core training the first thought is to train your abs (your rectus abdominis and obliques to be specific.) To be fair, when you are at a lean body fat percentage, these are the show muscles of your core that give you the elusive six pack. However, to have a strong and stable core, there are several other primary groups you are going to want to train.

The low back (erector spinea, Illiocostalis, and quadratus lumborum to name a few) often go untrained due to them not being the most fun muscle group to train. However, having a strong low back is absolutely critical for proper muscle balance as well as injury prevention. Along with the low back, the glutes and hips often get neglected and can lead to discomfort in day to day life as well as poor form when preforming lifts like the squat and deadlift.

When you start to think about adding in exercises to strengthen your entire core, remember you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to do so. A simple Google search of core exercises can reveal some pretty crazy ways to achieve the same thing as a couple of straight forward exercises.

Start with the basics. Add in some supermans to target your glutes. Back extensions or the lower back machine to train full low back, and finally some lateral plate pushes to train the obliques. Although this may not seem like a lot, 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each of these can make a big difference in overall core strength when they are done at least one to two times a week.

Article By: Jay Corti, ACSM-CPT