Performance Insiders

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Q: What is the best core exercise that people don't know about?

What is the best core exercise that people don't know about? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

By: Question from: ,

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Outside GOOur hottest adventure-travel tips and trips. Sent occasionally.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Subscribe
to Outside
Save Over
70%

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!

Advertisement

A:

Have you ever tried an overhead squat?

It may seem odd to associate an exercise known for building your legs as a "core exercise," but give it a shot and watch your technique, making sure to keep your weight over the arches of your feet and your arms straight overhead.

If you felt your weight shift back onto your heels or forward onto your toes, or if you noticed your knees collapse inward or your arms move forward, then you can stand to improve your mobility, stability and overall "pillar strength."

Your pillar encompasses muscles from your hips to your shoulders, including your torso, so performing pillar-strengthening moves will engage your abs and back while building stability around your hips and shoulders.

Doing squats alone isn't enough, and it doesn't replace traditional abdominal and core exercises like bridges. But the squat is a great indicator of strength and stability, and it will make you stronger. Which is why it should be a staple in your training program. A proper squat requires tremendous coordination of joints, balance, stability, and strength. You should feel tension throughout your abs (but still be able to breathe comfortably) if you're doing it right.

Try many variations of squats, including the overhead squat, single-leg squats and split-stance squats. Here's a video.

For more info, check out these articles:
Core Training, Misunderstood
Five Moves You Can Do Anywhere
Q&A: Get Six-Pack Abs

-- Anthony Slater

More at Outside

Next in Fitness (53 of 99)

Can doing calisthenics replace strength and cardiovascular exercise?

Read More »
Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.