The Strength of the Low back and Abdomen are the key to lifting heavy weights
It's true just take a look at anyone who's been actively pushing strength training for some years. You'll notice a core made from granite and a well developed back specifically the spinal erectors which run from the lumbar up to towards to top of the spine.
Personally, I prefer Isometric exercises for the development of core strength such as Bird-dogs, Planks, Side planks, Suitcase carries and Good mornings over dynamic abdominal exercises such as Crunches and Russian twists. "proximal stiffness enhances distal athleticism." - Dr. Stuart Mcgill
A stiffer torso allows better transfer of kinetic energy through hips, leg's, shoulders and arm's which means more powerful force production in the extremities. aka stronger and safer squats, deadlifts, snatches & clean and jerks.
I'm yet to see a client who increases his or her strength in the lower back and abdomen not improve their ability to execute the barbell lifts heavier and with better technique.
At Devanney Strength we do core work every single session, and we don't do some half-assed planks at the end of the session. We put as much effort into the trunk work as we do the main lifts because we understand the importance of a strong core.
- Reverse planks
I really like reverse planks as they allow you to work on the strength endurance of the lower back with the forces associated with squatting and deadlifting. And chances are you are already doing squats and deadlifts so adding more isn't the best option.
- Planks/Ab wheel
Planks don't really need an introduction everyone's tried to plank at least once. We aim to be able to hit a solid 2 min's after that we then begin to work on loading the plank by getting a training partner to add a weight disc, which is placed on the back. Then we aim to build it back up to 2 mins before increasing the load.
Anti - Lateral flexion
- Suitcase Carries or Single arm Farmers Carry
We perform this exercise for distances of 50m usual 3 times each side. The key is to imagine the hips and shoulder girdle as bowls of water and when walking not to spill any. You shouldn't be leaning over to anyone side if you are it's just too heavy.
Anti - Rotation
- Isometric Palov Press
Again this exercise is done for time, we don't have a cable stack but resistance bands work well just attach them to a sturdy upright. We aim for 60's once this achieved we increase the strength of the resistance band and repeat the process.
In terms of selection
We do at least one Anti-flexion or Anti-extension every single session and rotate exercises from the other sections. We do 3-5 sets of each exercises.