At Set Free CrossFit, we do pure core training on a regular basis. It might seem monostructural and not very CrossFit ish, but we believe in the importance of a strong midline.
What is actually "The Core"?
Many people associate the term "core" only with a steel sixpack. But actually, the core is much more: Everyting but you limbs, means
- the abdominals
- hip flexor
- lower back muscles.
The core is the stability center of the body. It enables our upright walk, and many more movement pattern.
Why is a strong core so important?
According to the CrossFit dictonary, a functional movement starts in the core and spreads out to the limbs. Since CrossFit is 90% about funtional movements - well, a strong core makes you the better CrossFitter. It helps with your lifts and squats, jumping, running, but I´d like to say that it plays the most important role for the gymnastics. Especially the kipping and butterfly movements benefit tremendously from a well devloped core strength.
If injury prevention and a better body posture is not motivation enough for you, then think about the performance boost you will get out of it!
The common mistake in core training
For many people, core training means just a stupid amount of crunches. This is not how this works! For an effective core training, consider the following points:
- as above mentioned: There´s more to the core than the abs, so also train the back, sites ... think multi dimensional and move in different directions, also including twisting movements
- a strong core means the coordination between the different muscle groups it involves, so pick exercises that require this interactions
- swap between concentric and static work
- like every other muscle, also the core muscles grow from increasing resistence. Bodyweight excersises are great, but don´t forget to add aditional weights on a regular basis
- Go hard, it´s ok if it´s hurt!
Our favorite core exercises
Here are our choices to mix up and create a various core training that go well with the points from above:
- L-Sit in any variations (on the floor, on parallets, from the bar hang, at the rope ...)
- weighted sit ups
- GHD sit ups
- Hollow Holds
- Hollow Rocks
- Russian Twist
- Window Wiper (also weighted!)
- Tuck ups
- Turkish Get up