It is no secret that CrossFit is not interested in doing crunches to try and get that crossfit core. Just go to their FAQs and you’ll see what I mean. The idea is that all of the core lifts take enough midline stabilization that you do not need to do any ab work in your daily routine. I agree with this and I also do not think “abs” should be 30 minutes of someones workout…ever.
However, it takes time to slowly develop that crossfit core and it takes even more time to learn how to properly engage your core during a lift. I added a few things to my warm-up awhile back that have really helped in my core development. I don’t do them everyday, but they certainly help when I accomplish them.
Building That Crossfit Core
- Pick a heavy weight that you can clean into the rack position. If you can’t clean it don’t use it, and don’t go too heavy. I normally like to use between 185lbs and 205lbs. I clean the weight and hold it in the rack position. That’s it. I hold the weight in the rack position for 30 seconds rest 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- During those 30 seconds I concentrate on holding my abs as tight as possible. I am concentrating keeping my back straight and tight as well. What this does is actually develops your core and gives you muscle memory. After you do this in your warm-up for awhile you will realize that when you actually lift you automatically tighten everything and have really good control over your core.
- This core exercise is more for the gymnastic side of things. Take some rings and lower them between your belly button and waste height. Now you are going to grab the rings and go completly inverted. So while holding the rings your toes should be pointing at the bar and your head should be an inch or two above the ground.
- This one will develop some grip strength too. I don’t recommend this one if you are brand new to CrossFit. You are going to use the same rep and rest schedule as Tip 1. Hold 30 sec, rest 15 sec, and repeate 3 times. While holding the position keep your legs together and toes pointed at the bar. You also want to have your spine perfectly straight (do not look at your feet like the picture).
- This one is just a common exercise. I do not do this one that often, but I think it is great for people who have minimal core strength and really need to develop it quickly.
- Take a barbell and put 45’s on each side. Now get on your knees (or do it standing) and grab the bar slightly away from your body. You are going to roll the weight out until your core gives out and you cannot roll the weight back. Good you found the sweet spot. Now do it again but stop 2 inches before you get to that point. 3 sets of 15 reps, rest as needed.
- This one really works the core and as you learn how to go further and further out it really develops your shoulders. This one is great for helping someone develop a nice overhead lift as well.