No matter what your gym or athletic goals are, squats and deadlifts oftentimes play a major role in getting stronger, being more powerful, and getting bigger. These core exercises form the basis of almost every lower-body movement.

There’s a school of thought that performing hard and heavy squats and deadlifts is all you need to improve core strength. This is partly right, however, you also need to consider adding accessory core exercises, which not only will help prevent injury but will also improve your performance in both lifts.

Making sure your core is up for the challenge of lifting should always be a priority.

Improve your squats and deadlifts by building a stronger core

Your core has many functions, but its main one is resisting movement while you’re moving — think anti-extension (your lower back not overarching), anti-rotation (staying front on and not twisting), and anti-flexion (your lower back rounding forward).

For good squatting or deadlifting technique, keeping your spine in neutral and body in good alignment while lifting heavy is extremely important. Plus, if you don’t like getting hurt, maintaining a neutral spine is necessary for keeping your lower back healthy.

A strong and stable core makes this all happen. Think of your core as a bridge between your lower and upper body. When the bridge cannot stand the weight on it, it begins to break, and bad things start to happen.

Don’t let your core be your weakest link by programming these five core exercises into your accessory routine for improved technique and lifting numbers.

The reason you strain while performing squats and deadlifts is because you’re working to get stronger. But spending more time under and over the bar will only get you so far. Intelligent programming of these five core exercises will prevent injury and improve your technique.

Powerlifter competing in a olympic weightlifting competition.

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