Build your core strength to increase functionality

Build your core strength to increase functionality

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It doesn’t matter what hunt you’re going on, you need to have core strength to carry your load, throw things over your shoulder, drag your game, keep yourself upright, or crawl long distances. A lot of this preparation should come from planks, reverse hyper extensions, farmer carries, Romanian deadlifts—the list goes on. Sure, you can throw some sit-ups in there too, but that isn’t going to give you the static strength you need to hold good posture while trying to execute a successful hunt.

Here are the top five core-strengthening exercises we recommend for more success in the field:

  • Planks: Lie down on the floor face down, pop up to your elbows while keeping your back flat—glutes and abs tight. Hold until the shakes kick in, then hold for another 15 seconds
  • Hanging Leg Lifts: Hanging onto a pull-up bar or with elbows locked into straps, start with your legs dangling straight down. Focusing on pulling with your abs, bring your legs up to at least parallel. Then return to starting position. The higher your legs get, the more intense the contraction will be. Remain under control; don’t swing your legs. This can also be performed with knees bent. Bonus: Hanging from the bar is great for grip strength as well.
  • Decline Bench Sit-Ups: Find a decline bench and perform sit-ups. Start at the top with your elbows touching your knees. Lower down slowly with your chest puffed up. Kiss your low back to the bench, but not your shoulders, then explode back up to the top. Repeat. No need to sit all the way up on this one.
  • Cable Rotations: This is for the obliques and low back. Set the cable pulley at chest height. Take a few steps back from the machine and stand with your left side toward the machine. Then, with cable in hand and arms extended, rotate your shoulders to the right until the cable comes in contact with your arm. Let it down slowly and repeat for 10-15 reps. Don’t forget the other side as well.
  • Ball Slams: Grab a weighted slam ball, medicine ball, or sand bag. Stand with it on the ground between your legs, squat down—keeping your back straight—and grab the ball. Then, thrust your hips forward, bringing the ball over your head, then tighten your abs and explode downward—throwing the ball down as hard as you can. Visualize trying to throw the ball through the floor. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

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