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Full Body Lifts
Photo Credit: InShapeNews, 2017 –  Push-ups are Fully Body Lifts


Nick Jack – CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Personal Trainer


Both full body lifts and direct core workouts have some benefits and disadvantages. But, the question is which one is better? Let’s look at the positives, negatives of both.

Full Body Lifts

Full Body Lifts consist of exercises that use multiple joints. These are in a standing position, such as deadlifts, squats, push ups, dumbbell rows, cable woodchops, Turkish getups. All these movements have the core working as a stabiliser. While the lower body and/or upper body working as prime movers.

The benefit full body lifts have over direct core workouts is that they are similar to everyday movement. Therefore, they have a improve how your body functions. Examples are, picking up & carrying objects, getting up from the floor, throwing a ball, running/walking etc. All these examples use the upper and/or lower body as prime movers and core stabilizing with some rotation involved.

The only negatives about these exercises are difficult to learn. Plus, if poorly taught these exercises can cause many problems. These exercises also put people at risk due to poor workout programs, with training overload – too many reps or sets. The potential risk of injury if not performed correctly is very high.


Direct Core Workouts
Photo Credit: InShape News 2017 – Side Planks are Direct Core Workouts


Direct Core Workouts

Direct Core Workouts are exercises that isolate the abdominal area. These include leg raises, side planks and sit-ups.

A positive about this training is that it targets individual weaknesses if a person can’t control their hips and stabilise core movement. Unfortunately, these exercises have very little effect on changing how we move.

In addition, the brain uses complex motor programs to move. Thus, it does not use isolated exercises to change these programs. Also, opposed to what you have been told, strong abdominal muscles do not prevent injury or back pain. Only good movement can do this.

What Does This All Mean?

For good strength and functional core strength, full body lifts are the better choice. However, you must make sure your technique is good. Plus, your programming for sets and reps must reflect your ability. This goes the same for load and rest time. This way they’ll have the best effect.

In saying that, this does not mean you forget about doing direct core workouts. Why? Well, these are useful when trying to learn how to activate stabiliser muscles that are lazy and weak. Thus, if used in combination with the movement you can have the best of both.

Nick Jack is a qualified CHEK Exercise Coach, Level II Holistic Lifestyle Coach and personal trainer. He runs a personal training business called NO Regrets Personal Training.

Nick likes to lift weights, cycle, run and triathlon. He has played almost every sport at one time in his life. Now, he enjoys spending time walking his dog and relaxing with his wife and friends.

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Disclaimer: The information published in this column is based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion don’t substitute professional medical advice or treatment. Therefore, always seek the advice of a doctor or health provider with any medical questions. Also, visit a doctor before beginning any nutritional or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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