The underlying principle of core training is one of creating stability. We should be training our core to do two main tasks – protect the spine, and to transmit force between the upper body and the lower body. Core training plans therefore, should be about RESISTING movement. Get yourself into a good position, and then work as hard as you can to resist forces trying to move you!
When we describe movement we use three planes of motion to explain what is happening. Sagittal (forwards and backwards), Frontal (left and right), and Transverse (rotation).
In reality, of course, there will be an element of all of these within every movement. But in terms of building our program we can use these as broad categories to ensure we’re covering all bases.
There are many ways to make exercises harder, the most basic being to add weight (load) or volume (perform more repetitions). However, if we’re really looking to create that rock solid mid section, then we should be looking a bit beyond that – and learning how to progress exercises through mechanical difficulty.
The deadbug quite rightly has a place as the staple movement of all anterior core training – meaning training the core to resist extension in the sagittal plane.The fully supported position makes it minimal risk, the floor is quite literally ensuring the correct position of the shoulders and hips. and the alternating arm and leg movements very closely mimic walking or running.
The deadbug will find its way in one shape or form into every one of my clients programs
The Pallof Press, or Anti Rotation Press as its often called, was popularized by Boston based Physiotherapist John Pallof when working with elite athletes returning to sport. The principle of the exercise is that as you press your arms away, the more torque the band or cable has over your body, the harder your core has to work to resist. It has quite rightly become the staple of all lateral core training – working to resist rotation in the transverse plane.
So how about combining the two together to give an advanced core exercise with excellent bag for your buck benefits – training the core to brace in three dimensions whilst maintaining constant reference points of the floor to promote safety.
What’s not to love!?
This exercise and the description video form part of my 3 x 52 Online Program. Available now on the App Store, Google Play – or on a free 7 day trial here
The anti rotation deadbug