Core Training – Part 1 (anti-lateral flexion)


Without a shadow of a doubt, if you have a weak core, you are going to struggle with many of the BIG LIFTS (dead lift, squat, bench press), not only that, if you have no idea how to set yourself up correctly, you will be asking for trouble when you do come to attempt the BIG LIFTS.

Most people get it all wrong even before they lift anything! My aim with this short series of videos, is to give you a better understanding as to why I recommend training your core in this fashion, and why functionally speaking, keeping a stable spine position when you are training your core, will be extremely advantageous whenever you’re attempting to shift some serious IRON from the ground.

These are the four movements (or lack there of) that you should be thinking about when programming core training:

  • Anti-Lateral Flexion (stopping your torso bending to one side)
  • Anti-Rotation (stopping your torso rotation around to one side)
  • Anti-Extension (avoiding excessive extension/arch in your lumbar spine/lower back)
  • Hip-Flexion With a Neutral Spine (maintaining a flat back whilst flexing your hip, and extending your leg/s)

(In today’s post we are going to focus on Anti-Lateral Flexion)

This exercise will put a lot of emphasis on the internal & external obliques, but that’s not to say that nothing else is happening within this movement.

  • Your abs should be engaged to stabalise your torso
  • Your glute/s are fired on to set the hips in place, and to help keep you upright
  • Your TVA (transverse abdominis) is engaged to assist your internal & external obliques, and to set the lower back
  • Your back stabalisers (QL, multifidi, longissimus to name a few) are all working together to stop you from over extending in the back, as well as toppling over to one side

Fundamentally, this is your ‘CORE’ working synergistically to do its job, and that is to stabalise the spine. Granted, we do have the ability to move our torso in three-dimensional planes, but when it comes to the BIG LIFTS, having an unstable spine is a ticket to the emergency room!

(more on this subject later in the series)

Take away points from the video:

  • Make sure you are in the braced position before you get any resistance onto the cable
  • Keep hips square, outside leg to the resistance is forward, and inside leg is down
  • Keep shoulders in a good stable position all the way through the exercise
  • Make sure you don’t lose torso position when going overhead
  • Always use proper form and technique
  • Regress the exercise if range of movement is compromised

The name of this exercise is called ‘A Half Kneeling Palloff Press with Overhead Hold‘. Yes, it’s a bit of  mouthful, but most definitely one of my favourite ‘Anti-Lateral Flexion‘ exercises. This is more of an advanced movement, and one that you should work up to if you are a beginner.

Tomorrow will be Part – 2 – Anti-Rotation, so stay tuned!

Keep training hard, keep moving well, and let’s stay fit & healthy for avery long time to come!!


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