Every little bit matters when it comes to lifting the heaviest weight you are humanly capable of.
It starts with learning proper technique, and then perfecting it. You must build strength in the lift, and establish a solid foundation of secondary muscles. Maybe even create your own personalized hype routine to get yourself into the zone for that maximum effort set.
But what is often times neglected in building a stronger lift, is building a strong core.
What Muscles Make Up Your Core
Now when I refer to a strong core, I’m not focusing on a six pack washboard stomach, or even the low body fat required to reveal those summer ready abs. No, I’m referring to the actual muscles that make up the inner core foundation of the torso.
The Main Core Muscles include the Abdominal Muscles (Rectus Abdominus, Obliques, and Transverse Abdominus), Back Stabilizers (Erector Spinae and Quadratus Lumborum), and Pelvic Floor Hip Muscles. This group of roughly 35 different muscles work collectively to provide a firm foundation for you to complete your lift through.
When preparing for any lifts, especially your compound lifts (Bench Press, Squat, Deadlift), you must brace your core in order to summon all of your strength through the exercise’s movement pattern. Without a firm core to brace against, you exert energy to stabilize and over correct that should be used for pushing the weight.
You will notice an increase in your overall strength output as you invest time and effort into building a strong core that you can brace firmly against while maxing out.
Building a Stronger Core
In order to build a strong core, you must go beyond your average crunch or hanging knee raise. You must focus on strengthening these muscles by using dynamic stabilizing exercises that challenge your abdominals, stabilizers, and hip muscles.
Try this dynamic core workout at the end of your workout for the next month, and reap the rewards of lifting heavy with a truly strong core.
Dynamic Core Workout
Complete 5 Rounds of these exercises performed consecutively as a giant set, Resting 2 Minutes between rounds.
Ab Wheel Rollout 10-15 Reps
Make sure that you are keeping the tension on your core by tucking your hips, slightly rounding your back, and contracting the abdominal wall. Do not let your hips or lower back dip down as this will do more harm then good.
Farmers Walk 30-60 Seconds
Keep your Chest lifted, Shoulders Down (not Squeezed Back), Hips Tucked, and Abdominal Wall locked in. Maintain form through each step, refraining from lifting your head to high, arching your lower back, or sticking out your gut.
Weighted Plank Hold 30-60 Seconds
Place a Plate or Dumbbell on your upper back between your shoulder blades, keeping your elbows lined up directly underneath your shoulders, contracting every muscle from traps to toes. Do Not let your Hips dip or lower back arch, and maintain a neutral spine alignment.