Exercises to Strengthen the Core, Back & Neck

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If you want to strengthen your core, back and neck, there are a few key exercises that you're going to want to start using immediately. Find out about exercises to strengthen the core, back and neck with help from a fitness professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Fitness Advice
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Video Transcript

How are you doing, folks? Ronald Kenyatta here with totalhumanelevation.com. And today, I want to go over exercises that strengthen the core, back and neck. Alright. Just a little information about myself; I am a Strength, Strength and Conditioning Coach in Professional Baseball. I've been, this is going to be my 12th year of doing that. I am also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength Conditioning Association and I'm also a Performance and Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. So, like I said, today, we're going to go over exercises to strengthen the core, back and neck. We're going to start off withe core right here on the ground. Now, you might be thinking, there's a ton of exercises you can do to strengthen the core, which you're right. But, for me, I prefer stabilization exercises simply because they tend to apply more to everyday activities, because they main coaching queue when you're doing these exercises do what's called bracing. And this is kind of like tightening the stomach like somebody's about to punch you. So, you kind of brace. And that's, I mean you use bracing, probably, you, you don't think about it, when you do something like open the door, closing the door, pulling, pushing; you got to stabilize that core to do all that. So, stabilization like I said is something that's more comfortable to things you, everyday activities. So, I want to start off with my favorite stabilization exercise which is a plank; you probably seen them before. Start off in this position, like so. Stomach tight like I mentioned, and you want to imagine a line being drawn from your heel, straight to your shoulder. So, we don't want your butt up too high, you don't want your butt down too low. Nothing like that. Right here, straight line from the heel to the shoulders and just, all you do is hold to this position with your stomach tight. Hold it just like so. There's tons of things you can do with this; you can come up, this is a little more challenging 'cause you got to prevent this from happening. You can do this or you can alternate and go here, work your way back up. But, standard plank, right here, working the core. Alright. And another one I like stabilization is called the dead bug, this might be a little new. Lie in your back, like so, and you put your arms and legs up; sort of like a dead bug, hence the name dead bug. And the main coaching queue with this, you want to flatten out your lower back, put your spine in a neutral position and you're still going to brace your stomach. So, as I flatten out the lower back, you know you have that, we all have that core that curve back there, I'm sorry, the curve. So, oh, let me demonstrate with my feet down, it's a lot easier, so you can see. Alright, now, I have that natural curve in my lower back and all I'm going to do is boom, flatten that out. So, now, my lower back is flat, legs up, arms up and one at a time, we go like this. That's your dead bug, alright. And we can do one more back, one more exercise; we're going to do one for your lower back, which is, people when they think of core, they think about this, just your stomach. But, when you go one side, you create a lower, you create an imbalance. When you create that imbalance, that's when your lower back tends to, you know, blow out or you going to have some type of injury. So, we got to always create a, some type of balance, synergy. So, we're going to go with the, it's called the opposite arm, opposite legs 'cause it's just like how it sounds. Start off on all four. And what's going to happen is I'm going to extend my arm and my leg from opposite sides; just right here. Hold it for a second, come back. When you come back, take this hand, touch this knee right here. So, you're here, hold it. The key to this movement is control; slow and under control. Alright. Let's do the other side now, opposite arm, opposite leg; slow and under control. Still touching the knee to the hand, the hands to the knee. Looking down and keep your spine in neutral position. Alright. There you have three core exercises folks. Like I said, I'm, I'm a fan of stabilization 'cause it carries over towards your everyday activities. And as you see, we work our core and our lower back. You got to have that balance. When you create an imbalance, that's when you have the tendency to create injury. So, there you have your, your core exercises. Next, we have our pull-up. You know, I mean the pull-up is the bench press for your back. It's a multi-joint exercise and you're pulling your weight. You know, you, you can't get any better than this one. So, I'm using this position right here for beginners. What this, I'm sorry, I'm using this machine right here for beginners because not everyone can pull their body weight. So, as you see, you have the weight stack here so you can adjust that accordingly to help you, help you and aid you with the pull-up movement. So, I'm going to step up here, I'm going to demonstrate the pull-up for you. Alright, there's your standard pull-up. It's, it's like I said, it's the foundation; when you do, when you'll be able to pull your weight like that, that's when you know you're really getting stronger. So, you can go wrong with your good old push-up; I'm sorry, your good old pull-up. Now, finally, this one is kind of new, the neck exercises. I haven't done this since high school as this, it's not really too popular unless you're a wrestler. But, what we're going to do is, I'm going to use this tubing right here and we're going to use this in all planes of movement, all planes of motion. Alright. I'm going to hook this up here, like so, and hope it doesn't come down and shoot me in the face. Looking good so far; we wrap this here. The first move we're going to do is we're going to go back, like that, we're extending our neck. Now, we're going to turn around, still hoping this thing stays in place and we want to go with flexion of the neck. Alright. So, here; do like that. Alright. Now, we're going to go sideways flex the neck; to the side. And move that up a little bit. As you can see, this is pretty awkward, but, you got to do what you got to do to strengthen your neck. And we're just going to do the other side. Alright. Your neck exercises, pretty much self-explanatory. You know, I wish I have a machine to work that a little, you know, to work on the form and the technique a little bit. But, not too many people have neck machine. So, that's what, that's the best you're going to do in a lot of situation. So, that's all I have for today folks. I hope you enjoyed the core stabilization exercises, the good old pull-up and a little neck, a couple of neck exercises. So, have a great day and I look forward to seeing you next time. Bu-bye!

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