Many years ago, when I was seriously overweight – I’d still, amazing as it might sound, do pushups, pull-ups and the like.
Although I was over 40 kgs or so over “baggage”, and given my genetics,although most of it was centered on my hips, stomach and ass (sounds familiar eh?) – I’d still do bodyweight exercises – albeit for not near as many reps, and with somewhat less than perfect form.
Try doing pushups, for instance (regular pushups) when inspite of using proper form as I detail in 0 Excuses Fitness when your belly “tries” to touch the floor before your chest does, hehe.
Or pull-ups at a weight, well, well, above your “fighting weight”.
Thats something I want to say before I move on to the topic of the day.
FORM, my friend is paramount on everything you do. I don’t care how fit you are- or how fat you are – or how strong you are – or how unfit.
If you’re doing an exercise you do it in proper FORM, and if you can’t do it in proper form, you work on it until you can do it in letter perfect form.
Then you repeat – over – and over – and over again, and then, and only then – do you move on to higher reps.
This is a truism that holds true regardless of your current fitness levels, and is something that’ll help you continually improve and shatter previous bests amongst other things.
Anyway, back to core strength… One fine day, I was introduced to a style of pushup that I had never ever seen before, and that, judging by the looks would be EASY.
That is precisely what folks tell me when they see this exercise being done.
“Oh, that! That’s EASY!”
“Oh, of course I can do THAT!”
And so forth – and yet – when I was that unfit – I could barely hold this position (this style of pushup I’m referring to) for a few seconds, if even that before my lower back and abs literally gave out and I collapsed.
Fast forward a few years, and I’m back in great shape. I’m doing my hill climbs – my pull-ups and so forth … and I try this style of pushup again.
And though you might think I’d hold it EASY this time around, you’re wrong, my friend.
Though I didn’t quite quiver like an aspen leaf in the breeze when holding the position, I couldn’t hold it for very long at all – and collapsed about 15 seconds or so into the hold.
That same “easy” hold.
And it is THIS hold that is a pretty reliable strength of your overall core health, strength and endurance – as well as how much extra FAT you’re carrying around the midsection.
What IS it then, you ask.
Well, it’s the “table” pushup as shown in 0 Excuses Fitness. I haven’t mentioned it in Corrugated Core – I don’t think – a) because it might be counted as a repeat and b) because it isn’t a PURE core exercise, but at the same time, if there is ONE exercise that tests core strength like nothing else done correctly, THIS is it, my friend.
Get down on all fours, with your back facing the floor and lift up such that your hands and legs are supporting your body, on all fours (somewhat like a reverse bear crawl) – and simply HOLD.
You may need to see the pictures to see how it’s done – – but just HOLD, my friend. Just hold – for as long as you can.
Shoot for 15 seconds to start with. If you’re the average trainee, about 5-8 seconds of this will make you start to feel it, and you might be surprised to find out your arms – and core – literally buckle after more than a few seconds of the above time frame elapsing.
That, by the way, is just ONE of the core endurance tests I put my clients through. There are TWO exercises that I start most people off with to figure out how fit (or unfit) they “really” are (despite their own assessments), and this is one of them.
What is the other – well – thats something you’ll have to sign up for my coaching program to find out, my friend – but in the meantime?
In the meantime remember that there is PLENTY more that you can do for your core – PLENTY more.
And “plenty more” exercises of this nature – or tougher are detailed in Corrugated Core – a course that has been selling like hot cakes ever since I came out with it – and a course that you must grab if you’re in any way, shape or form serious about core strength.
Go right HERE to check out what the fuss is all about, my friend.
P.S. – Another exercise that will build a core of steel is the almighty pull-up – an exercise that most adults fail miserably at. And if you fall into that category, no problemo – we ‘ve got you covered – with a brand new FAQ section as well my friend. Check out the course on pull-ups that the WORLD has been raving about right HERE – http://0excusesfitness.com/pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks/