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With any core training exercise, our goal is to remain as neutral as possible for the movement at hand. Neutral posture (neutral pelvis and spine) for a static position, such as a plank, would mean a straight line could be drawn from the top of the head to the sacrum and it would connect at three points; head, upper back and sacrum. This target would also hold true if you were talking about a hinged movement such as a straight leg sit-up or RDL.
Also, because most core movements are non-maximal (outside of maximal effort barbell movements), the breathing pattern is really specific. Learning to “breath over the brace” especially when tension is greatest, will allow us to own the movement and develop respiratory control. It is this same control we must bring back into our everyday lives because losing it has ramifications up and down the kinetic chain; loss of joint centration, loss of pelvic alignment, upper / lower cross syndromes and the ability to obtain neutral posture at rest or under load.
Supermans are done by setting up in a push-up position. The lifter will then steadily walk their feet back until they are just hovering above the ground. The movement of the feet is reversed and the lifter moves back into the push-up position. As stated before, keep your entire body locked and braced in neutral and continue to breath even as the tension increases. Also, tension in the posterior chain (engaging the lats, spinal erectors and glutes to prevent hip extension) and driving the toes downward, will help you stay rigid and safe.
I would always recommend focusing on quality of movement. This means when your ability to stay locked diminishes, terminate the set. This could mean you can’t control your breathing anymore or your lower back goes into hyperextension.
Good Volume Range: 3-4 sets of 5-10 reps, hold each end position for 3-5 seconds.
This next exercise is an advanced core move. Do not attempt unless you have a serious amount of core strength. This is not your average crunch.
Sit-Up and Press
The first variation we filmed on Diesel of the Sit-up and Press was done on the floor. This basic version released tension on the eccentric because it was done on the floor. By raising up onto a GHR or Roman Chair, the tension is never released.
Benefits of Sit-Up and Press