‘Core’ is the new style word people often use everywhere. When they talk about core, they often point a finger at their abdominal area, thinking that this is the area called core. Of course, when you ask someone why are you doing sit-ups and crunches, they answer that they are doing these core exercises to strengthen it.
I haven’t come across one person who could explain the word ‘core’ correctly. Core in simple terms is the entire torso minus the arms. The term core was coined in 1982 by Gadja & Dominique in the book Total Body Training.
When we talk about core, it consists of:
- Rectus Abdominis
- Internal/external oblique
- Transverse abdominis
- Pelvic floor muscles
- Erector spinae muscles
- Latissimus dorsi
In We R Stupid, I’ll teach you core exercises that really target the entire core, not just some puny abdominal muscles. Strengthening the core means increasing the ability of the core to remain in equilibrium by controlling the forces that the other extremities i.e. legs and arms, can create.
One of the most powerful core exercises you have never been told about is the “Briefcase Squat”. As the name suggests, it is performed by holding a heavy object, like a dumbbell, kettlebell, sandbag, etc. in a single-arm only, and performing a deep squat.
During the movement, the real challenge on the body is to balance itself, which makes the stabilizers work extra hard. To take an example, if you lift a heavy bucket of water from one arm, the body tends to bends on the opposite side, to balance itself. This is also called as the reflex action of the body. The body here is forced to maintain its center of mass, and this the muscles do by working extra hard.
Briefcase squat is one of the most underrated squats, which most people have never tried, as their stupid YouTubers and trainers are busy making them do crunches, sit-ups, and planks. It is one of the best core exercises. This core exercise and many of the likes will give you real stability and balance, not some useless circus performed on Bosu or stability balls. It’s one of the most functional exercises for the professional sportsmen and the housewives alike, as it mimics a number of movements of everyday life, like lifting buckets and groceries from the ground. It is also an amazing movement or core exercise to correct various muscle imbalances, strengthen the lower back, stabilize the shoulder and improve the posture.
When you are performing this core exercise, you would see how your abdominal area automatically tightens up, and how you press your feet to the ground, just to balance the body. The heavier the object, the more force the core needs to generate to stabilize itself, and the stronger you get.
To perform the movement-
- Simply keep a heavy object close to the body on any of the sides.
- Get down in a squat position and lift the object. Now, slow down as the body needs to balance itself.
- Go down deep in a squat and come up.
- If the dumbbell/kettlebell you are using is touching the ground when you are at the maximum depth in a squat, then stand on a higher platform like a stepper or a plyo box, and then do the squat.
- Perform this is a main exercise in your leg workout, not just a supplementary addition.