You can do all the crunches and sit ups and planks you want, but the best core exercise available is one you’re already doing if you’re doing CrossFit.
It took me a long time to realize this – three years into doing CrossFit. I was at my level-one course, where we were using PVC and not barbells, for this to click. I remember feeling my abs were sore after day one and thinking back over the day, trying to find where I did any “core” work.
I want you to think about how many times you have heard a coach say, “brace your core”? How many of you just took a deep breath? No judgement, I did the same. But when you actually brace your core, you’re doing more than taking a deep breath – you should be contracting all of your muscles. I remember Ashley saying this all the time, though I could not figure out how to do it, “pull your bellybutton to your spine.”
At the level-one, with our PVC, standing in front rack position, the coach walked around our little circles touching our core, repeating, “brace your core, brace your core, brace your core.” It clicked for me, and lifting became the best core exercise I’ve ever done.
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