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CORE
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STATIC (incl. Anti Rotation)ROTATIONDYNAMICPROGRESSION
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NAMEDESCLINKNAMEDESCLINKNAMEDESCLINKPARTNAMEDESCLINK
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Hollow BodyWipersPike/Toes to1Landmine Twist
Rotational strengthening tools. This is a 3 part series to show a few exercise that can increase your rotational strength. The Landmine Twist is an active rotation drill and you will feel this through your trunk and shoulders. Start light and keep the arms straight.
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Weighted
Weighted Hollow Body Rocks
Here we place a Dumbbell between the feet and a plate in the arms to increase the torque on our lever arms.
-This is weighted with a plate in hand and Dumbbell in between your feet. I love this as a tool to connect the entire global flexion chain while adding a touch of movement to a potent core exercise. The load in the hands reinforces good straight arm positions.
-This is a simple movement made much spicier with the simple addition of a weight plate in the hands. For an additional weights version you can place a light Dumbbell between your feet too. Perform 30-60sec continuous for 3 sets at the end of your training with 10lbs in your hands.
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Barbell
Barbell Windshield Wipers
Trunk rotational strength with loaded upper extremities. Stabilize your scapula and deliver some oblique strength and control work.
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Ring Stability Slide Board Pike Ups
begin with your hands in the floor before progressing to the rings. This is a powerful combination of shoulder stability and scapular rotational control, along with anterior core strength.
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Half Kneeling Low To High Chop
More rotational strength in the half Kneeling position today. Stabilize through the hip and focus on core and shoulder rotational strength. This is a great warm up protocol for training to ensure the whole body is awake.
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Weight Hollow Holds
This is a nice little progression from Hollow Body Holds. Plate a dumbbell between your feet and a weight plate in your hands. The majority of our core focused drills are based on holding a neutral spine under load as opposed to flexion or extension of the core.
-Place a light Dumbbell between the feet and a weight plate in your hands and give a static hollow hold like this a shot for 30sec x 3-4 sets
Be sure to master the unweighted hold first!
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Weighted
Leg - Weighted Windshield Wipers
Place a small Dumbbell between your legs and anchor your arms to something fixed. Great rotational and anterior ore drill to finish off any session.
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Twenty Second Strict Toes to Rings
Anterior core flexion challenge. Perform a controlled strict toe to rings with a 10 second concentric and a 10 second eccentric for a total of 20 seconds time under tension. You must keep your arms and legs completely straight. Perform 1 rep every 90sec for 5 sets.
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Tall Kneeling Pallof Press
This anti-rotational strength drill is the final part in our 3 part series. The goal was to introduce 3 rotational strengthening drills to add to your repertoire. Today's uses the principle of anti rotation. The band, as you move it further from the center of gravity, will create more and more torque on the body. In order to maintain and static position you will have to engage rotational muscles.
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Weight Hollow Hold Scissor Kicks
Controlling a variety of different lower body movement patterns while maintaining a hollow body position requires practice. We have shown drills before where we attempt to hold isometrics in the core and upper body while moving the lower body through patterns like flutter kicks and wipers. These scissor kicks are yet another pattern that can help grow your motor control in the hips all on top of a stable midline and a solid core workout.
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Strict Toes To Bar + Windshield Wiper
Performed with a semi supinated (neutral) grip. The Windshield wiper is slightly more advanced than the strict Toes to bar. Progressing over Time to completing both movements with straight arms is the goal. See the bent arms in this demonstration of the WW is due to inadequate strength at this point.
-These two advanced core movements combined together are a kick in the abs. Before you write this off as too advanced listen to this version you can excite. Lay on your back with your hands over your head anchors to a bench. Raise your legs up to vertical, then perform a side to side windshield wiper. Essentially the same movement done on your back.
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Strict Toes to Rings/Knees to Elbows Complex
These two strict hanging anterior core flexion drills are powerful. They have slight different ranges of motion and targeted muscle. The combination of both in the same complex with leave no abdominal muscle untouched.
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KB Dragonflag
Or at least our attempt at this. Using the KBs as a counter balance and he upper back as the fulcrum, attempt to separate feet and legs as far apart as you can without letting the mid to low back touch the floor. High degree of difficulty.
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Strict Toes to Rings
One of the most potent Lower abdominal exercise we show here in FBB. The added benefit of building your grip strength and flexor chain makes this a must in your training program. We consider this a level 4 of 4 core strengthener.
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Kettlebell Deadbug
Holding a kettlebell directly over the chest to engage the upper body and shoulder blade, perform a legs only variation of the deadbug. The key is to keep the low back connected to the floor through the range of motion.
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Waterfall Strict Toes to Bar
This variation of the Strict toes to bar requires that the athlete have unilateral control over their hip flexors. On the lowering portion, or eccentric, you must apply slight different forces in the hip flexors to oppose gravity and create the Flutter motion. Interestingly both legs at performing the same contraction (eccentric) only at different rates. A fun strength and brain exercise.
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Bodyweight
Physio Ball Stir The Pot
This exercise is deceptively hard. Slow controlled circles with the shoulders. Try about 15-20sec per direction all while holding a hollow body position in your midline. Quads and abs tight.
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Single Leg Double Leg Strict Toes to Bar Complex
Here at #functionalbodybuilding we love to incorporate unilateral work. With anterior core work it take some creativity to find ways to get one side working more than the other. The single Leg strict Toes to Bar works really well for this purpose. Perform 3 reps of each. 6 Single Leg Alternating reps following by 3 Double leg reps. Slow the eccentric down for added spice.
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Hollow Body Flutter Kicks
Core work doesn’t have to be fancy. Hold foundational positions and add subtle movements around it. This is an easy way to start teaching your brain and core how to stay engaged when moving into dynamic movements and contractions. It must be practiced and then returned to periodically despite how advanced you may be.
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Slide Board Pike Up
A challenging anterior core drill that incorporates shoulder stability and control. A perfect progression to building up to a press to handstand. The shoulder flexibility work here is great.
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Supine 90/90 Cross Body Band Pulls
Movements like this serve as great tools to connect different motor patterns around the body. Core engaged with the 90/90 Leg Position. Drive the low back into the floor. The cross body shoulder contractions are great prep for overhead work.
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Slide Board Pike Ups
Don’t have a Slide Board? Them go get yourself some super sliders on Amazon now. They are just furniture moving pads and work on any smooth surface including the gym rubber floor. We love these for their double benefit for core flexion deeps at the lower abdominals as well as shoulder endurance and range of motion.
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Hollow Hold to Bent Hollow Hold
This Isometric Core Complex is performed by moving back and forth between the two movements every 10seconds for a full minute. That is 30sec in each positions.
Drive the low back into the ground and make sure you don’t lose tension.
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Landmine 180 Twists
Used here to warm up and to prepare for training, the rotational aspect of movements like this can help ensure proper activation and coordination of core musculature prior to bigger lifts. Load up heavier for more intensive rotational core work.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BTrE_pWgxRS/?hl=en&taken-by=functional.bodybuildingRower Pike Up
This is a great anterior core exercise to help develop not only the rectus abdominus, but also the hip flexors like the psoas and quadriceps.
I love that it also is a great shoulder stability drill too.
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Anti Rotation Banded Deadbug
In this exercise one must content with the Lateral Force from the band. That subtle pull with activate core rotational muscles. Meanwhile the hollow body hold and hip flexion and Extension makes this a complex abdominal exercise on a stable surface. Great for learning breathing patterns and core control.
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Landmine Twists
Transverse plane movements can and should find their way into your programs. The landmine twist at low load is a great entry level movement for this. Keep your arms straight and feel this in your shoulders and your trunk!
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Strict Knees to Elbows on Rope
FBB Skill Transfer - Want to combine some direct anterior core flexion with a carryover skills to rope climbs? Here is your answer. The strict knees to elbow exercise combines grip strength and endurance with open chain core flexion. It will enhance your ability to bring your legs higher up the rope and become more efficient with time.
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Wall Dead Bug
For this variation of the dead bug press hard into the wall. This is critical. We want to train the core and hip flexors while you are actively engaging the shoulders for an overhead load.
A great skill transfer drill for getting more stable in your Jerks.
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Half Kneeling Landmine Twist
Keep your arms straight on this rotation core exercise. Stay tall and work your shoulders and core with each twist.
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Dragon Flag
I think it was ROCKY IV when Sly was crushing these during his training camp build to his match with Drago. Drive the upper back into the floor and get a global flexion core workout from these.
Pair these with your hinging exercise of choice. I love Jefferson Curls.
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KB Russian Twist
A very accessible way to incorporate some rotation work into your core training. The upper arms get a nice little pump from these as well if yo load up sufficiently.
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Weighted
Single Arm Straight Legged KB Sit Up
Perform 5 reps followed by a 5sec overhead hold for 15-20 total per side. Anterior core gets challenge as does the shoulder girdle. Unilateral loading introduces rotational stability for a great finisher to a shoulder intensive session.
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Plank/Saw
Weighted V-Up into Tuck Up
Core Flexion, Fast Concentric/Eccentric Contractions, Intermediate Skill
Hitting you all with 3 core posts in a row! This combination does require a solid amount of core control to maintain balance and not rock back and forth. With that said it is a great alternative to doing sit ups or GHD sit ups for this looking for a challenging straight arm/leg variation of core flexion.
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Bodyweight
Ring Body-Saw + SA FLR
The Body-Saw is a deceptive anterior core monster exercise. Paired with the single arm FLR with legs in the rings on the back end is a great rotational core challenge.
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Single Arm Ring Plank
Another core focused installment here. Single Arm planking is a great way to build scapular stability and help to work or avoid imbalances that may be around or creeping up. There is also a rotational core element involved in this.
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Ring Mountain Climber
Moderate Core Exercise - This is a bit of a precursor to the ring body saw exercise that you have seen on our channel before. Flexion of the hip on a stable spine and hollow position is a great skill to develop. You can practice is with this isolation drill.
-Isometric Core Work meets Subtle and Controlled movement. Simple is Strong! .
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30 Second Ring Body Saw
One rep performed with 15sec out and 15sec in tempo. This will place a huge demand in your anterior core while helping to work some dynamic scapular stability.
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V-Up to Tuck-Up
This is an absolute core crusher. 12-15 complexes performed in a row. The midline stays on tension throughout the set and the hip flexors hit peak fatigue. Great finishing piece.
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Physio Ball Stir The Pot
This exercise is deceptively hard. Slow controlled circles with the shoulders. Try about 15-20sec per direction all while holding a hollow body position in your midline. Quads and abs tight.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BWxPHQggVTV/?hl=en&taken-by=functional.bodybuildingV Ups
A classic core bodyweight exercise that can be performed anywhere with no equipment. For added stimulus perform these with a 3 second lowering on each rep. It requires a ton of control!
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Plank Walk Ups
The core demand and added shoulder strength requirement on these walk ups is a great compliment to one another. Make an effort to keep your back as flat as possible and avoid rotating side to side as best as you can.
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Ring Body Saw
Anterior core work meets shoulder control and awareness. Lots of good stuff here to help anyone. Good for those of you who like to over extend when pressing.
-This is a classic from our page and performed here with perfection. Be sure to have a very rigid both position from shoulder to ankle. No change in position except at the shoulder. More moves just like this in our upcoming 12 week FBB Program. Be sure to DM us for details!
Try for 30sec for 3-4 Sets. Rest as needed.
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GHD
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Single Leg Ring Plank
3 Points of contact on a plank is a great way to add in anti rotation! This simple core move is a little more spicy than it may seem on the surface.
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Weighted GHD Back Extensions
More in the bodybuilding category than functional, however the ability to control spinal flexion at various levels of the vertebral column is something we should train. Build the motor pattern first of being able to flex and extend each segment of the spine one by one. Then consider loading.
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Cross Body Slide Board Body Saw
Only two points of contact on this one today everyone. Opposite arm and foot stay down. Spreading the firearm and hand out at a diagonal as shown here is helpful for maintaining balance. You will need to tense up the entire body from shoulder through leg to maintain positions. A great full body effort.
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Single Leg GHD Back Extension
This single leg hinging drill really hits the QL and low back. Use it as a stand along strengthening movement or in a super set with another non low back fatiguing movement.
-Single leg bending is a favorite of ours here. We believe that in many functional fitness gyms the GHD is under utilized. Try a variety of bending progressions with it including this one. Coordinating the hip and spinal flexors and extensors with one leg at at time is a great brain exercise. It will also have your hamstrings screaming.
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Single Arm Ring Plank
Here is another easy way to take an anterior core exercise and creativity some simple unilateral qualities to it. This is more difficult than it looks and is a great warm up movement to prep the whole body for your session. 30 seconds per side for 3 Sets.
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Elbow Plank
Don’t over complicate your core work. Simple planks and bridges can make for a strong tight core and translate well to bigger lifts. Furthermore as you progress and become more advanced, don’t forget to return to the fundamentals to layer on deeper strength.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bf3wWbzDotV/?hl=en&taken-by=functional.bodybuildingTurkish
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Plank Waves
Planks waves are a terrific combination of mobility and scapular motor control. Move slowly and deliberately throughout the range of motion. Learn to feel every inch of your scapula working as you Flex and extend the shoulder and flex and extend the spine.
perform a continuous wave for 45-60sec and pair this with an upper body pulling exercise like ring face pulls.
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Two Arm Turkish Sit Up with Hold
- This one is a great challenge for the anterior core muscles and shoulders. By adding in 5 second holds at the top and bottom you can also work your overhead position and scapular stability.
- Core Focused!! This will place a demand on your shoulders and your core. Sets of 10 reps are to be completed with out stopping. Be sure to use kettle bells for this drill as opposed to Dumbbells as they are important for making this a shoulder demand as well as a core demand.
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Plank March
This exercise is a great warm up movement and combines some unilateral scapular stability work with a quick hit to the core. Try 30-45sec continuous alternating marching in your warm up combined with some easy rowing.
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Single Arm KB Turkish Sit Up
Shoulder stability, anterior core, rotational strength, breath control, this one packs a good punch. Try performing about 10-12 reps per side for 3-4 sets as part of a warm up for an overhead lifting day.
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Side Plank Rotations
This is a great closed chain rhomboid exercise and can serve as a great warm up drill on days you are going to have an upper body pulling or pushing day.
Pair this with a single leg wall sit to give your hips and shoulders the prep needed for todays training.
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Two Arm Turkish Sit Up
The Turkish Sit Up places a very high demand in the anterior core. However, the Beaty of this exercise is the shoulder training and range of motion work. Stabilizing the shoulder through a 90 Degree range of motion with a straight arm hold has great carryover to Overhead Training.
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Weighted
Weighted Slide Board Body Saw
If you have access to a slide board fantastic. If not then invest in super sliders on amazon now. They are furniture moving plates that work great on a hard surface like this may.
The slide board Body Saw is a must have in your core conditioning program.
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Dumbbell Side Plank Rotations
These are a great rhomboid training tool. We are always looking at ways we can get the shoulder blade to move more freely and taking it through these ranges of motion daily is a great step towards upper body movement freedom.
-A great combination of scapular strengthening and mobility. Use side plank rotations to build back lost range of motion in the shoulder blade during injury cycles when the shoulder gets tight and protective. Add the top arm load to give the upper shoulder rhomboid a little extra work.
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Weighted Ring Body Saw
The Ring Body Saw is a great tool to teach Hollow Torso positions. While the should is flexing and extending it is all to easy to over extend. Here you will be forced to maintain positions or you will immediately fail.
Core Work - sets of 8-10 x 3 sets as a finisher.
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Kettlebell Star Plank
This Movement is a great core exercise. From abdominals, to obliques, to glutes, everything gets worked. Mostly we love this for the Glute medius Training and stimulus it provides. Give it a try and aim for 30sec per side!
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Dumbbell Side Plank
The Side Plank is so often thought of as a core strengthener only. But the realty is that it is a terrific scapular strengthener too.
This variation with the Dumbbell above is a terrific way to train both shoulders in the same plank. Keep your arms in a straight line by stacking the shoulders over one another as best as you can.
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L-Sit
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Hanging
Ring L-Sit Flutter Kicks
Adding a little movement to static core holds can be a great way to teach your joints how to move around a static and stable midline. The Ring L-Sit itself is a very challenging position. Adding this little bit of a flutter to the legs will spice it up just a touch.
-This core crusher is also a great way to work your overhead position. Hanging is an activity that doesn’t get enough time in a typical day. Increase your total hanging time by adding in core exercises that can be done while hanging from rings or a bar. The benefits here are engaged flexor chain accompanied by a hollow body position to help reinforce good alignment overhead while stimulating the anterior chain.
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L Hang Flutter Kicks (Rope)
Another advanced core exercise to end the day. Hanging core exercises like this one are a great way to connect the flexors in the upper extremities with the midline flexors. A great grip strengthener as well as hip flexor.
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ParalletesL-Sit Wipers
Adding more variations on the L-Sit with this subtle oscillation from side to side. Ensure your L-Sit static position is solid before adding in these wipers. Nice addition of rotational core challenge.
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L-Sit Lifts Overs
This drill is hard. It is advanced. But it also highlights the beauty of progression. We can start very simple and continue to scale up for life! Therefore we are in the path for as long as we choose.
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L-Sit Flutter Kick to Lift Over
Some of the fun within Functional Bodybuilding is combining movements into complexes. Both of these cute moves have been showcased here but never together. Moving between patterns is a great way to progress and challenge the body and brain.
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L-Sit Circles
The L Sit is a ruthless exercise. It never seems to get easier. Just as hard every time. But so effective at building lower abdominal strength and control. Additionally the upper body scapular stability and serrated activation is superb. Adding movement to this otherwise static exercise with leg circles add a level of control and subtle variation on the contractions.
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L Sit to Shoot Through
Some gymnastics play today. Thanks to great recommendations from clients and followers we are constantly upgrading our movement library here. This one came from a good friend. A reminder to play with shapes and positions on the parallettes. This is a great way to build core strength into shoulder control if you wish to progress to handstands on the parallettes.
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Misc
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Ice Cream
Pause Ice-Cream Makers
An advanced core drill. Using the rings as opposed to a bar makes for a slightly easier approach to this exercise. Also try a supinated grip at the top. The upper arm flexors will also get a good dose during these sets.
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Ice-cream Maker
This movement is an advanced core exercise. However when performed on the rings with this semi Supinated Grip it is much more accessible than on a bar. Give it a try and work towards more control and straight arms on Extension. You also get a great bicep/Arm flexor training in during sets of this.
-Advancement in movement is one of the exciting aspect of #fuctionalbodybuilding. We guide you step by step through progressions by honoring our system of motor control ➡️ quality ➡️ intensity.
This movement requires a lot of upper back strength and core control. Consider the regression back to Isometric holds over the bar and strict toes to bar as an alternative.
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Psoas March
Dual KB Psoas March
The Psoas March is a terrific tool to maintain some health in your Psoas muscles and hip flexors in general. With so much sitting in our cultures this muscles can get bound up and junk. This movement combines some grip upper and lower body core and abdominal work!
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Psoas March - Hip Pinching Fix
This variation of the psoas March is performed with your torso in a hollow oft position pushing the low back into the floor and lifting the shoulders off the ground. This movement is a great one for helping restore some proper function to the hip flexors and unlocking tight hips. I also presented this movement as a skill transfer drill in our rope climb article yesterday. Use this with a thicker band to develop good foot lock strength and coordination for rope climbs too.
-This movement has long been a great warm up for squatting. Often times people under appreciate the role the psoas muscle has in stabilizing through squatting patterns. This can strengthen and warm up those two muscles so you can squat with less pinching in the front of your hip and with better low back control.
If you have a reverse hyper then this movement will pair very well to get you ready for some squats.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BX5dnPRgzu7/?hl=en&taken-by=functional.bodybuilding
https://www.instagram.com/p/BheREQ8DUo0/?hl=en&taken-by=functional.bodybuilding
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Other
Quadruped Plate Crawl
This is a traditional quadruped crawl with a weight plate on the back. The plate does two things. It adds load of course, but it also provides some proprioceptive feedback about hip and shoulder alignment. In order to keep it from sliding off your back you need remain level and you can feel what movements do that throughout the Crawl. Great for warm ups.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BdscGO0DWB2/?hl=en&taken-by=functional.bodybuilding
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Quadruped Hip Extension
This is a simple yet effect exercise for getting the posterior chain firing in a preparation for training. I like that you can work on holding a stable spine position by having 3 points of contact to the floor.
Make an effort to not overextend the low back when you extend the hip. The athlete in the video has a slight lumbar extension which may be a result of tight hip flexors.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BhjsgUUD5bZ/?hl=en&taken-by=functional.bodybuilding
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