This post is the second of two quick off-topic posts in this series. Today I’ll cover some more of the core exercises I use with the wrestlers I train that minimally involve the hip flexors.
Wrestling Training- In-Season Power Development is where you’ll find the original post. In it I detail principles for in-season programming. I also include a sample week of a training program that I designed for a college wrestler.
To get caught up on why I think it’s important to implement these types of core exercises read this post.
…Welcome back. Now on to the focus of this post- 2 more core exercises I use in my programs.
Top Core Exercises
One exercise that is in almost every program I design is the Ab Wheel.
The Ab Wheel is a great way to develop a super stable core with minimal hip flexor involvement. Ultimately this makes it another great exercise to superset with a power exercise.
Here are three videos of me performing the Ab Wheel. The first is of me demonstrating the easiest progression.
Master this stage of the progression first. Adequate stability is shown when you’re able to extend all the way out while properly stabilizing your core (stomach doesn’t dip causing an arch in your back). Once you can complete 15 or so reps comfortably, with no breakdown in technique, you’re ready to move on.
The next progression is the Decline Ab Wheel. All you do is simply increase the height from which you kneel.
I typically don’t go above 4-6″ off the ground with this variation. Once proper strength/stability are demonstrated, it’s time to move on to the Standing Assisted Ab Wheel.
For those of you who have very strong cores, the next progression is to perform a Standing Ab Wheel. It’s a big step from the Decline Ab Wheel, which is why I like using band assistance to bridge the gap.
As you get stronger, increase the difficulty by using bands/tubing with less tension. Eventually, you’ll be able to do an amazing feat of strength like the picture below.
A similar exercise to the Ab Wheel is the Blast Strap Superman.
Blast Strap Superman
As you can see, the core stability necessary is virtually identical. Although I use a certain arm action in the video above, there’s no right or wrong way to do this exercise. As long as your core stays braced, you’re fine to do whatever you want.
Once you’re comfortable performing this exercise, you can start to progress.
To make the Superman more challenging, make your body more parallel to the ground. You can achieve this by lowering the straps or by elevating your feet.
The bottom line- the more parallel your body is to the ground, the more difficult this exercise will be.
For the next post (which gets into the exercises in Day 3 of the program)- Wrestling Training Program Day 3.