Are you tired of the usual abdominal exercises? -abdominals, leg lifts, weighted lateral curves? If so, that's probably a good thing. These exercises are much more likely to cause back pain than carving a solid torso.
Finishing your workout with four to five sets of traditional abdominal exercises, often referred to as "isolated movements," was previously considered a good basic training. In reality, however, your body does not act in isolation.
Instead, you should think of your body as a single kinetic chain. Movement is created through the coordination of multiple muscle groups. So when you train your torso, focus on integrated movements, not trying to isolate a muscle or muscle group.
Another problem with performing a large volume of sit-ups and squats is that they can leave you with poor posture, shortened hip flexors and back pain.
The core really encompasses everything from the head to the toes, as each segment of your body is intimately linked, both structurally and functionally.
Eric Cressey, conditioning specialist and the owner of Cressey Performance, Hudson, Massachusetts.
What is the torso?
Before you can understand what is meant by integrated movements, you must know the definition of torso.
"The torso really covers everything from the head to the toes, as each segment of your body is intimately linked, both structurally and functionally," explained Eric Cressey, conditioning specialist and co-founder of Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. He says that while there are many exercises that train the torso, the most effective, as well as the most functional, are often simple derivatives of what we already do -such as squats, deadlifts, lunge- but with asymmetric loads and positioning optimal trunk.
The nucleus does not refer only to the anterior musculature, which includes the rectus abdominis - commonly known as the pack of six; the transversus abdominis muscle - the musculature below the rectus abdominis and the internal and external obliques - the musculature of the sides that help in the torsion and flexion of the hip. The stabilization of the torso and the participation in the movement is a collaboration between these muscles and the antagonistic participation of the whole posterior chain - the lateral ones, spinal erectors, buttocks and hamstrings.
Joe Dowdell, Conditioning Specialist and founder of Peak Performance in New York City, says that real basic training is about selecting the right core exercises, which will test your skills, while safely and efficiently you will advance towards your goal.
That said, Dowdell added that "the ultimate goal is the development of a core that is both strong and stable and allows us to be able to resist well and / or transfer significant amounts of force in any given movement pattern".
When developing the torso, it includes specific movement patterns and resists or avoids these same patterns to ensure a full profile of strength and create stability. By developing strength and stability, you will be able to reach serious levels of strength, generate and transfer energy and decrease the risk of injury.
An example of a very effective basic exercise series is the cable lift sequence. From a squat or kneeling position, stand perpendicular to the upper or lower connection on the cable machine. From this position, rotate the arms through your body in various patterns -diagonal up, straight or diagonal downwards- keeping the torso fixed.
Movement patterns and exercise packs
Torso movement patterns - Movement
Hip flexion Hip extension Rotation Lateral flexion
Torso movement patterns - Anti- movement
Resistance to hip flexion Resistance to hip extension Resistance to rotation Resistance to lateral flexion
Examples of exercises for the torso
Variations of "plank" (table position) Push-ups with ball Swiss Medical ball rotation Cable lift Crunches with rollers
Variations of upper-body exercises that develop torso strength
One-arm push-ups One-arm dumbbell bench Military press with one foot boom Tilted rowing with one foot arm Rowing rowing alternating arms
Variations of lower train exercises that develop the strength of the torso
Squats Deadlifts Lunges Lunges loaded contralateral thrusts of hip and legs