Core Class

John Durante Coaching Leave a Comment



What We Talked About

If you have been listening to and reading a lot of my rants on the ole interweb, you know that your core is important. More specifically, it is something that is involved in pretty much everything you do in and out of the gym. Our specialty classes involve a brief 10 minute lecture and then a workout demonstrating mechanics and principals that we had discussed prior. Since I like to write and you guys are dying to know what you missed, I will sum it up for you!


Why Me?

I know what you are thinking. This is dumb and why do I need to work on these specific exercises? Personally, years ago, I never cared much about this stuff. Back in my bro days, I would show up to the gym, maybe do some chest, arms and leave. Did not understand how the body worked and quite frankly, did not care. I wanted to look good in a v-neck and that is about it. The universe does not work acutely either, these are things that take months and months to unfold and would impact my lifting career in a significant way. So, these are things that help and carry over to everything else. The goal is to lengthen your lifting career and not shorten it.


Dead Bugs…

This wonderful mechanic is great at teaching us so many things: Lumbopelvic rhythm, stability, proper breathing and kinethetic feedback. We want to be able to induce a bit of posterior pelvic tilt to encourage the hips to do their jobs. If we ignore the body’s want for symmetry and or an acceptable degree of posterior/anterior pevlic tilt, the chances of having knee, back and spinal issues increase. In short, the exercise highlighted in the video below will help lessen the likelihood of these things happening…



Key Points

Notice trainer Jamie’s smooth and controlled movements. Most people want to immediately speed things up and look like a dying fish (bad joke). We want to reinforce slow and controlled movements as well as a contralateral¬† movement pattern (this means your opposite arm and leg). Breathing is important and we want to exhale and allow the hip musculature to do its job…


  1. Start on you back with tib,fib and femur in a 90 degree positioning with arms straight, over your chest.
  2. Push your belt buckle to the floor. You should not have any rounding in your lower back. Other words, it should be flat!
  3. Inhale deeply through the nose and into the belly before you move…
  4. Move opposite arm and leg and tap your heel and thumb into the ground. As you are doing this, you need to exhale forcefully through your mouth and allow your muscles to stabilize the movement.
  5. Back to starting position and start again with other arm and leg

Again, these work wonders for individuals that you need to slow down or teach more finer motor control to. If you are the coach in this scenario, make sure you are reinforcing back neutrality. The back should be flush against the floor!



We all suck at breathing and it shows in our weakened neck muscles and are inability to breath diaphragmatically. Most people walk around self consciously holding their bellies in and breath up into their chest or neck. During this exercise, we are exhaling at the greatest point of tension/exertion put onto our body. We want our muscles to stabilize and do the work that is required. When we are lifting weights, we want the air that we take in to protect us and keep us stable.



Band work was a plenty, but we got to introduce the Palloff to the class! Another great way to work out the ole midsection and promote stability in all planes when you are lifting.


Key Points:

  1. Start with the band anchored to a fixed object (Duh John).
  2. Make sure the bad is perpendicular to your body and add some tension by stepping away from the anchor point.
  3. Get into an athletic stance (soft knees and butt back)
  4.  Push the band away from you while preventing your body from going into rotation
  5. When step 4 is done, go overhead with the band and try not to go into lateral flexion.
  6. Do 10 reps each side
  7. Back to starting position and have fun!

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