Struggling to think of fun and novel core exercises for the gym, it’s normal to run out of ideas if you don’t have a trainer or an app helping you out. Thankfully there are hundred of exercises you can use to develop your core in the gym. That’s why we curated a list of our 12 favourite core exercises for you to do in the gym. Let’s have a look at the exercises you can use to grow a strong and robust core musculature.
I’v always loved the analogy that people still go to church when they can pray at home. Going to the gym to train is the same, yes you can train at home, you can train very well at home, but being in a gym, having a specific location for a specific activity is an excellent way to create a lot of focus towards one thing at a time. Not only does it create more focus it also allows for access to more equipment (unless your very, very wealthy!) which is great as it means you can have access to a much more diverse and interesting training regime.
This is no different for core training in the gym, it can be done at home, but having access to equipment does make it so much more enjoyable, especially if you plan on training for the years to come and creating long term results. This diversity and fun might not make a difference to the actual adaptation, but for longevity it may be the difference between being consistent or not, which is the most crucial aspect to seeing results.
For building a strong core using exercises in the gym, I wouldn't recommend going to the gym just to do a core session, simple because its not a valuable use of your time. Doing a 15 minute core circuit at home might make sense, but if you've made it all the way to the gym, doing just this probably isn’t the best advice, you could do this at the end of a strength or cardiovascular workout. One of the best ways to build a strong core is to integrate it into your strength training regime as shown in the sample programme.
The four main movement categories of the core are
It’s important that you target and develop these in unison with each other, especially the rotation aspect of the core which if often forgot. This is crucial for athletes.
Progressive overload is where you add stimulus to movements over time, this could be by adding weight, sets or reps. This means you provide a greater stimulus and progressively adapt to it. It’s a very effective way to see great results in the gym.
Using a variety of methods is the best way to create a strong and robust core, this means using carries, holds, reps, different pieces of equipment. Adding this style of variety over time whilst adhering to the principle of progressive overload means you core musculature will be able to deal with a wide variety of stimuli.
Complete 3 rounds
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.