Abs & Core Bodyweight Exercise Bodyweight TV

Bodyweight Exercise For The Core And More…

Trying to do any sophisticated bodyweight exercise without a strong and balanced core is like trying to shoot a canon from a canoe. Not only is it a bad idea, it could be rather hazardous.

That’s why we always work through a series of gradually more sophisticated exercises that starts wherever the trainee needs to start…

This gives the nervous system, and the individual structural elements like muscles and connective tissue, the chance to gradually adapt. It also keeps our development under the radar of knee jerk counter reactions like unnecessary bracing, which limit proper function of the symphony of muscles we collectively call the core.

And that melodious collection of muscles and connective tissue affectionately known as the core includes much more than the mystical six pack muscle, the rectus abdominus. In fact, it encompasses far more even than the obliques and transversus abdominis.

I’d go so far as to say that everything from the mid thigh up to the rib cage—at least—could be included in the core. And if you look at the way the facia runs (that’s the stuff that houses your muscle tissue), it’s not much of a stretch.

And that’s why moving towards more sophisticated movement patterns is so important in developing good core function. We need to systematically teach the muscles to fire properly on their own and then come together as a team.

Once the team is all making nice and working together. You can start asking them to do some pretty cool stuff. One of my favorite bodyweight exercises for the core is a Forearm Scorpion.

It’s really a full body exercise that develops some sophisticated movement capacity. But it also requires serious recruitment of the core.

The obliques and quadratus lumborum will be active in stabilizing the core as we move into the end position. The rectus is required as we pass through the neutral “plank” position. The entire sling of muscle and connective tissue from the far side hip to the same side shoulder is involved in “stinging” the foot to the side. And the sling from the front of the same side shoulder all the way down to the far knee is involved in bringing it back.

So, as you can see, there’s a lot going on. But that’s not the most important thing. The best thing about the forearm Scorpion is… it’s FUN. And at the same time it develops the synergy of the core through functional movement.

Try it! And let us know below what you think? Did you find it challenging? Easy? What gave you trouble? What did you enjoy?

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shapeshifter

23 Comments

  • Looks fun:) Sometimes the exercises you come up with remind me of the crazy fun stuff kids do–and they call it “play.”

  • Hello Adam,
    Great exercise.I will be using this one today.
    I recently bought BER.and I am really enjoying it.As a testament to body weight training and it’s effectiveness ,I have not been inside a”gym” in about three years.That was until yesterday.I have been doing almost completely body wt resistance for the past year and a half and have not done any benchpressing in 3yrs.
    Yesterday I easily benched 265lbs with no assistance and very strict form.To say that I was impressed would be an understerstatement.I am confident that I can do 275lbs next week.My exercises for pressing have been the 1 hand pushup, HSPU, inverted press and body weight press.My best ever benchpress was 290 and that was with a lot of weight room workouts so I would have to say that bodyweight training works and can be as or nearly as effective as weight training.
    I plan to test out shoulderpress and squat vs HSPU and Pistol over the next week or two to see how body wt training stacks up there.
    A few questions if you don’t mind:
    1)How would you target pulling movements(biceps) with BER? The screwing press, ellipse and crow seem to have some what of an eccenteric bicep movement or isometric contraction for the crow .Your thoughts?
    2)How would you target the lumbar area and back in general as a means of substituting body weight exercises for deadlifting?

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Trevor

    • Hey Trevor,
      In general, we tried to choose movements for BER that were as “integrative” and full-body as possible. But we also made a conscious decision to make the program doable without any equipment, so pulling movements are obviously absent. There are a lot of places in the program where pull-ups and other equipment oriented pulling movements can be inserted though. And movements like the Superman are great for getting at the lats.

      Some of the hip pressing movements are inherently inclusive of the lumbar region. Also, things like the threaded Wheel and Table Top require significant low back involvement. But training is like any craft, you need to choose the right tool for the job. If, for some reason, you really need to develop the limit strength in the low back, you need to incorporate some form of weighted exercise.

      Hope that helps.
      Cheers,
      Adam

  • This was good, its amazing how much cardio you get from it.
    Its hard not to lay down when you put your shoulder down.
    I’ll add this to my bodyweight excercises.
    Thank you very much
    Forrest

  • Have had some shoulder issues over the years – what go me onto clubbells. Like the exercise, my 50 year old spin makes some interesting sounds:-). Difficulty dropping the shoulder right down. Is that really critical or any tips?

  • Wow you are the BEST! Do you have a link to past blog videos? I would love to see them all in one area. I just recently got onboard with Scott Sonnon (sp) Tacfit. I have been doing yoga from videos on the yoga sites off and on for years. I have no formal teacher to student training other than online videos. They have helped immensely. I am so elated to see just a bodyweight exercise regime. THANK YOU Eternally.

    • Hey Mark,

      If you click on the Bodyweight TV tab above you’ll find lots of videos. You can also click through the video in this post to see all my Youtube vids.

      Cheers,
      Adam

  • Had a question as to why we need to drop the shoulder down to the arm in the exercise? Seemed that dropping the shoulder down made the exercise too easy. Also experimented with the exercise by doing it from a superman plank. Instead of laying on the forearms as in a normal plank, I press all the way up on the hands & place them forward of the head. Then did the scorpion from their again w/o dropping the shoulder, way more challenging I thought. So again, what’s the purpose of dropping the shoulder? But liked the exercise as a variation.

  • Hi Adam, I was wondering if you have any advanced bodyweight programmes for people who want to gain strength and get shredded. Maybe they have movements like one-armed pushups and pullups in them as well? I’m looking to achieve elite conditioning and strength as an athlete.

  • I would like to include the Scorpion in my BER strenght or Hypertrophy session.

    which excescise could it replace?

  • Hello, really enjoying the bodyweight articles, working out at home with limited time, they are working out well.
    Do you have a recommended lower body / leg workout, primarily with bodyweight? I don’t have the equipment for back squats in a rack.

    Thanks again, keep up the good work!

    Marc

  • Thanks Adam for such great workouts!!!!

    I have shared it with my colleagues too …. I will make them to add it in their routine 🙂
    Keep up the good work!!!

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