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A good core training routine follows a systematic approach working through levels of progression, functionality, correct muscle activation and stabilization. Core training should move through the different planes of motion. Joints should also move through a full range of motion while concentrating on body positioning. Training variables such as sets, reps, intensity, tempo and frequency are also an aspect of a core training program.

Some guidelines to follow when putting together a training plan are to include functional and total body workouts. Tools like foam, stability balls and medicine balls make core training much more challenging and require you to control the speed and execution of exercises.

Improving muscle control and efficiency plus stability is the aim of core training. The increase of proprioceptive demand is far more important than increasing resistance. While quality of movement is a far more critical factor than the amount of reps completed. 

When you can maintain a drawing in position you have improved your intervertebral stability. When functional movements can be performed with limited spinal movement you have improved lumbo pelvic stability. These are key aspects of core training.

Lastly there are three levels of core training that follow the OPT model. Those levels are stabilization, strength and power. Exercises should be performed through each of these stages. 

Stabilization focuses on intervertebral stabilization by practicing drawing-in and bracing. Strength focuses on exercises that move the spine through full range of motion while reinforcing techniques taught during the stabilization phase. Power focuses on increasing the power that’s created while executing core exercises.

Types of core exercises:

  • Stabilization
    • Marching
    • Floor bridge
    • Prone cobra
    • Prone iso-ab
  • Strength
    • Ball crunch
    • Back extensions
    • Reverse crunch
    • Cable rotations
  • Power
    • Rotation chest pass
    • Medicine ball pullover throw
    • Medicine ball oblique throw
    • Soccer throw