Dumbell Whip-Arounds For Explosive Core Power By Nick Nilsson
So who DOESN'T want a stronger, more explosive core. Show of hands...
I've got a GREAT exercise for you for developing explosive rotational power in the core area. This is EXACTLY what you need for hitting a golf ball further, throwing faster and hitting harder - without rotational power, all you've got is the power in your limbs and that's NOTHING compared to the overall power you can generate with your core.
I call this exercise the "Dumbell Whip Around" because that's basically what you're going to do!
This is a challenging core rotational exercise - you're going to be swinging the dumbell around ALMOST like you're swinging a discus to throw.
The key is this...
You're going to use a lot of power and momentum on one side to get the weight moving but, instead of using muscle action on that same side to stop/slow the movement, you'll use the core muscles on your OTHER side to "catch it," then stop it, then whip the dumbell back around to the original start position for another go.
Sounds confusing, but you'll see what I mean. Basically, the reason this works so well for building explosive core power is that because the muscles that start the explosive movement don't have to work to SLOW the explosive movement, it teaches them to explode that much more effectively. There's no deceleration hesitation in the core and you can sling the dumbell around at MACH speed.
PLEASE NOTE: With this one, be VERY sure you don't go too heavy to start with - this is a rotational exercise and if you haven't done much rotational work, you could strain yourself. We don't want that! So start light and work your way up as you feel comfortable! But once you're ready, don't be afraid to use some weight!
For this exercise, you'll need one dumbell. Pick it up in your right hand and hold it at your side. Your feet should be set apart a bit - you're going to be generating force through your legs up into the core - and they need to be apart for stability.
Swing the dumbell back and around behind your body like you're winding up. Keep your knees bent and midsection tight!
Now whip that dumbell around as explosively and as fast as you can! It's almost like throwing a discus (rotational and explosive movement) like you were trying to sling the dumbell as far away from you as possible. Hold on TIGHT, though, as not everybody has concrete walls in their gym like I do...
Now here's the trick - as you whip the dumbell around, "catch" the dumbell in your other hand and use your OTHER arm/side abs to slow the momentum.
The slowing of momentum should take the dumbell all the way around behind you in the other direction.
Now using BOTH hands, whip that dumbell back around the OTHER way to where you started from. Use a powerful push from the left hand and a powerful pull from the right hand (they'll work together on this whip around back to the start position).
Here's the key - the turnaround point. Don't hesitate AT ALL at the change of direction. When you stop the rotation one way IMMEDIATELY and explosively whip that dumbell back around. We're trying to put rotational torque on the core muscles (safely, of course) and that change of direction and momentum is the most important point.
So do your reps on one side (about 4 to 6 reps - explosive movements shouldn't be done for more than that or you start hitting the wrong fiber types and losing explosiveness), then switch hands and repeat on the other side...same movement, direction reversed.
Perform the same number of reps on this side as you did on the first side. I like to stick to just 2 or 3 sets of this one. Any more than that and your core will get too fatigued and it won't be "quality" work anymore, which is critical for an explosive rotational core exercise.
I HIGHLY recommend checking out the video for this exercise to see exactly how the whip-around is performed. It'll give you an idea of the power and speed you should be using when you do the exercise.