Leg day might traditionally be regarded as the least enjoyable of your weekly sessions, but core day is a strong contender, too. True, a solid midsection will bolster your performance during all exercises, but planks, sit-ups and hollow holds do little to sustain your attention. Fortunately, we have a steadfast way to shake things up.
‘This is a movement that requires a fair amount of coordination and bodily awareness,’ says MH fitness editor Andrew Tracey. ‘You have to fire and stabilise multiple muscles at once, while also maintaining your balance.’ And for your investment, you’ll also benefit from stronger shoulders, arms and back muscles.
The key is to keep your movements controlled, resisting the urge to loosen up and allow your torso to rotate. ‘As soon as you let a link in the chain become passive, the whole thing can fall apart. This one’s all about tension,’ says Tracey.
Struggling for space? ‘You can always try one step left, onestep right, for the same effect,’ he suggests. Deploy as part of a dumbbell complex or a pre-session warm-up. Get ready to do some side-hustling.
1. Enter Beast Mode
Drop on to all fours, with a dumbbell to your left. With your hands beneath your shoulders, push the ground away and raise your knees, maintaining a flat back.
2. The Big Reach
Keeping your back flat, grab the weight with your right hand. Maintain tension throughout your core and avoid letting your torso rotate towards the bell.
3. Pull Through
Keeping your body tight, lift the weight–or drag it if it’s heavy – and move it under your body, placing it on the opposite side. Don’t let your torso rotate and keep your knees the same distance from the floor.
4. Lateral Thinking
Move one hand and the opposite foot laterally, followed by the other hand and foot so the weight is back on your left and repeat the move. Try 10m one way, then switch sides.