In a recent article for New York Magazine, former powerlifter and founder of the New York-based Powerlifting Academy Nick Toth outlined how he used a simple system of dumbbell swings and powerdowns to build his “dumb, durable abs.”
He explained that the exercises were created for strength and stability, not just aesthetics, and were meant to help athletes build up a strong and flexible upper body.
“The basic idea behind this is that your core is your anchor,” Toth wrote.
“It holds your body in place during the movement and keeps you stable during your ascent.
You need to have a strong core to help you reach those high barbell jumps and push ups.
The other important element is that you need a strong torso to support the weight as you jump.”
In a world where the average woman weighs in at just under 230 pounds and many elite athletes compete at an average of 1,100 pounds, the importance of having a strong, sturdy core is obvious.
But why should this be a priority for athletes who are aiming for Olympic medals?
Toth argued that “bouncing balls” and “dubble dumbbell” exercises can be a great option for developing the body’s core strength.
“If you’re in the gym and you’re working on your abs, then there are a couple things that can go wrong,” he said.
“First, the weight will not bounce right, or your hips won’t go to the floor.
You’ll have to use your core to hold it all together.
You might be able to squat a little bit more or you might be doing some dumbbell work in the bottom position, but the abs will be just flat.” “
A lot of times you’ll find that you’re doing something that is not as effective.
You might be able to squat a little bit more or you might be doing some dumbbell work in the bottom position, but the abs will be just flat.”
In his book The Powerlifting Bible, Toth recommends a basic framework of exercises for improving the core.
For example, he suggests the following exercises to build the “back, shoulders, chest, and triceps.”
First, take a dumbbell and swing it up.
Do not do any of the dumbbell dips or dumbbell lunges.
Then, perform one of the following three exercises in a row.
“One-arm dumbbell deadlift, deadlift from the side, one-arm overhead dumbbell, and one-leg overhead dumbbelly press.”
If you need to learn more, check out The Powerbuilding Bible for more detail.
“Incline dumbbell push-up, push-ups from a standing position, and chin-up dumbbell presses.”
You should also do a “squat, shrug, and front squat.”
Lastly, perform a push-down, one of three variations of the push-downs.
“Deadlift dumbbell shrug, dumbbell front squat, dumbell-overhead squat, and dumbbell chest press.”
“Inch dumbbell overhead dumb press, dumb bells, overhead dumb bells,” and “barbell shrug dumbbell press.”
The final exercise, Tuth said, is “dunk squat.”
This exercise should be performed at the bottom of the bench and should look like this: “Squat dumbbell dumbbell chin-ups, dumb bell shrug, front squat dumbbell.”
When the time comes to lift the weights, perform the following variations of each exercise in a sequence.
“Dunk dumbbell back squat, shrug dumb bells dumbbell overhead dumbbell barbell press, and back dumbbell reverse dumbbell rows.”
You may also want to practice these movements on the floor or at the end of a session.
For the final part of this article, Tye described a series of exercises to strengthen his abdominals, lower back, and hamstrings.
“You’ll see that the dumb bells and dumb bells lunges can be used to add resistance to the abs,” he wrote.
Then he listed some exercises that he felt would be especially useful for building the upper-body strength of the bodybuilder.
For this exercise, perform five sets of five dumbbell exercises in each position.
For a more challenging exercise, use two dumbbell moves instead of one.
Then perform a single dumbbell movement.
For more detailed instructions, check Tye’s book The Complete Powerlifting Book.
For full instructions on how to build your core strength, visit Tye Training Solutions.