Beyond Abs with Hydro-Inertia®
Core training continues to be a favorite format among fitness enthusiasts. Who doesn’t love a strong and “toned” mid-section? Yes, strengthening the abdominal muscles, especially the rectus abdominis, can yield results, if (and this is a BIG if) you adhere to sound principles of nutrition and put forth the hard work necessary to acquire the ideal body composition. However, there are many other benefits to core training, and thankfully, the days of endless crunches are a thing of the past!
The core often refers to all muscles of the trunk which are used to stabilize your spine during movement or when balance challenges are applied. Functional core exercises, as opposed to spinal flexion exercises (such as crunches), can help improve posture and aid in controlling movement. This approach to training can also enable you to strengthen the muscles from the hips to the shoulders and everything in between. Unilateral exercises are particularly useful as well because additional muscles are recruited to help maintain alignment. Increasing efficiency and ease of movement should be a goal for all of us, don’t you agree? If you want to increase performance, whether on the athletic field or during activities of daily living, we have you covered!
Let me introduce the SURGE® Storm. It is an innovative training tool that provides an additional challenge when applied to various exercises. Hydro-Inertia® refers to the use of water to provide an unstable training environment. The movement of the water inside the SURGE® Storm creates a fluid resistance that requires the user to work harder to stabilize the core when executing each exercise. By varying the amount of force applied, the neuromuscular system will be continuously challenged to adapt to each unique repetition. Essentially, every exercise performed with the SURGE® Storm will target the muscles of your trunk, so you can count on a great core workout with every rep!
There are four distinct water actions that can be utilized when training with the SURGE® Storm and each can be applied to various exercises for a great core-focused workout experience.
Water Quiet– Keeping the water still when executing movements will provide feedback to balance right and left and assist you in self-correcting imbalances.
Water Crash– Accelerating the water with a quick stop will require muscle activation to stay in control of the movement.
Water Oscillate– Keeping the water in continuous motion will require stabilization of your core throughout each repetition.
Water Dump– Shifting the water from one end of the Surge® Storm to the other will require strong core activation at the end of each movement.
Try this short and sweet workout and experience how the SURGE® Storm can challenge your core in new ways. Utilizing a circuit approach by layering exercises together with minimal rest in between will also offer considerable intensity, so you can accomplish your goals in less time. Fifteen minutes is all you need! Do both exercises within each block for 10 repetitions. Continue to cycle between them for two minutes. Do the same reps and timing for all three blocks, and rest for one or two minutes in between each. If you have additional time and energy, go ahead and repeat the entire sequence as many times as desired.
Exercise 1 – Squat
Water Action - Quiet
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the SURGE® Storm with a neutral grip in a level position. Lower into a deep squat and return to starting position.
Alignment Tip: Knees should track in same direction as toes. Avoid inward collapse.
Progression: Increase range of motion (ROM).
Regression: Reduce ROM.
Exercise 2 – V-Sit Overhead Crash
Water Action – Crash
Start in a V-sit position, holding the SURGE® Storm with a neutral grip at chest height. Explosively push the SURGE® Storm overhead and then return to starting position.
Alignment Tip: Keep your spine straight and fully extend the elbows while thrusting overhead.
Progression: Increase speed of movement.
Regression: Keep feet on floor.
Exercise 1 – Rotating Thread the Needle
Water Action – Oscillate
Stand with your feet in shoulder-width stance, holding the SURGE® Storm in neutral position with arms extended. Turn the SURGE® Storm to vertical position and swing it between the legs while hinging at hips. Extend the hips and drive the SURGE® Storm overhead. Rotate it 180 degrees and repeat.
Alignment Tip: Maintain neutral lumbar spine position.
Progression: Increase the amount of water in the SURGE® Storm.
Regression: Reduce force applied to movement.
Exercise 2– Steer
Water Action – Dump
Stand with your feet in shoulder-width stance, holding the SURGE® Storm in front of the body in vertical position. Turn the SURGEÒStorm 180 degrees and brace as the water dumps.
Alignment Tip: Keep elbows extended throughout the movement.
Progression: Bring feet together.
Regression: Reduce the amount of water in the SURGE® Storm.
Exercise 1 - Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
Water Action - Quiet
Stand on your right (R) leg holding the SURGE® Storm with the left hand by the long handle. Hinge forward from hips and extend the left leg. Hinge back to start position.
Alignment Tip: Maintain neutral spine and keep hips level through the entire movement.
Progression: Hold hinged position for a few seconds before returning to standing position.
Regression: Keep left toes on floor.
Execute the above exercise on the left (L) side.
Melissa Weigelt, MS, is a SURGE® Master Trainer and owner at Flow Fitness Training, where she develops and presents a variety of continuing education programs for fitness instructors.