This core exercise is one of the most underutilized in my opinion. It used to be a common exercise among bodybuilders a long time ago; recently it has come up in some yoga training. This exercise is probably one of the best things you can do for your core control and warm up prior to core exercises.
What makes this exercise such a good exercise; the great thing about this exercise is it makes it easy to engage your deep core muscles fairly easy. This can be quiet a difficult task for a lot of people, I know I struggled with it. Because of the motion of the exercise it is hard to compensate and it also engages not only your deep core but your diaphragm as well (which is part of your core). The great thing about this exercise is with time you’ll gain more control over your deep core. There are some research studies that have looked at core control and its ability to help reduce back pain in certain individuals.
There are a few ways to perform this exercise; you can either do it sitting, standing or slouched over. The best way to begin is by sitting it shoulder allow you to focus better on what you’re doing. Once you’re comfortable, begin by sucking your stomach in towards your spine as hard as you can, feel your sides they should be hard. If only the middle part of your stomach is hard draw in the sides as well. This insures you’re using your deep core not just the rectus abdominis. Once you’ve done that, suck your stomach up as if you’re trying to bring it into your chest. This further engages the TrA.
Once you’ve set yourself up and have your core fully engaged, hold the position till you fatigue. You should feel your core begin to burn, now remember keep breathing! Take small shallow breathes through your chest. Perform this exercise; 3 sets 3-4 days a week, after a few week you’ll notice how you’re able to control your core better. Let me know if this was hard for you! Check out my core conditioning guide if you need help with your core strength.