Bulletproof Core Program
In my last post, I discussed the 3 keys to developing core strength for athletic performance. In this post, I will outline a program you can follow to develop a bulletproof core.
As discussed in the last post, it is important to develop a strong foundation of core stability in a static context, before progressing to more complex, dynamic movements. Keeping in mind that we are trying to work various planes of movement, a tier 1 core complex, focussed on centre line stability, would look like this:
1A .Front Plank 3 sets x 30 second hold
1B. McGill Side Bridge 3 sets x 15 second hold each side
1C. Glute Bridge 3 sets x 30 second hold
1D. Pallof Press ISO 3 sets x 15 second hold each side
Once you have mastered tier 1 exercises and you can stabilize with neutral postural alignment, it is time to move to tier 2 exercises. Tier 2 exercises are still stability oriented movements, meaning they focus on spine and pelvic stability, but the context becomes more dynamic by moving other segments of the body. A tier 2 complex would look like this:
1A. Hover to Hip Extension 3 sets x 8 each side
1B. Star Bridge w/ Hip Abduction 3 sets x 10 each side
1C. Lunging Pallof Press 3 sets x 8 each side
1D. Glute Bridge March 3 sets x 8 each side
When you are able to perform all of the tier 2 movements, while maintaining a stable centre line, you can move to tier 3 movements. Tier 3 movements are, once again, more dynamic than tier 1 and 2 and begin to incorporate more movement through the hips and torso. A tier 3 complex would look like this:
1A. Single leg V Up 3 sets x 7 each side
1B. Side Bridge w/ Hip Tap 3 sets x 10 each side
1C. Cable Rotation 3 sets x 10 each side
1D. Single Leg Hip Thrust 3 sets x 8 each side
As you become more proficient at each tier of core training, continue to add complexity to the movements in your core training routine. Remember to always keep the goals of being able to stabilize the centre line in static positions first, including exercises (forces) that work on all planes of movement, and training all types of movements which may be applicable to your sports setting.
Ross is an exercise and sport enthusiast who is passionate about human performance and development. He has been in the athlete development field for the past 14 years. Ross holds an MSc Kinesiology from AT Still University and a BSc Kinesiology from Dalhousie University.