The Best Movement You're Not Doing: The Kneeling Half Moon
12/09/2022 | Andrew Tracey
Andrew Tracey is a long time collaborator with Bulldog Gear. A coach, writer and current fitness editor of Men’s Health Magazine, he has been in and around the fitness industry for the past 17 years. Having enjoyed and endured a number of disciplines from endurance racing, to strongman, to Crossfit AT enjoys getting neck deep in the practice just as much as the theory.
If the rise and rise of 'functional fitness' has made anything abundantly clear, it's that the traditional proliferation of sit-ups, crunches and planks in the training regimes of those looking for a stronger core, has largely been an exercise in futility. Sit-ups aren't without their merit, but endless reps in isolation probably won't go a long way towards building a trunk that even the sturdiest Oak would admire.
‘Core strength’ at it's, erm- core, could be defined as your ability to translate power throughout your entire body, from bottom to top, side to side and all of the above in reverse ; whilst your trunk remains unwaveringly sturdy.
When we talk about ‘rock hard’ abs, we’re not talking about chiseled six-packs; we’re talking about the type of iron wrought midsection that doesn’t buckle, bend or otherwise lose integrity, whatever else is going on in the rest of the body. To train this capacity, we actually have to move the rest of our body.
The Kneeling Plate Half Moon, takes a simple shoulder drill, often performed as part of a warm-up, encourages you to go heavy, then literally brings you to your knees; skewing your balance and giving a weight plate enormous amounts of leverage over you, leverage that your core is going to have to work overtime to battle against.
Throw these in to your warm-up to build huge ‘anti-rotational’ strength, unfeasibly strong abs, healthy shoulders and to help you to get ‘embodied’; establishing a deep connection with your muscles and joints ahead of your workout.
1. Kneel down, keeping your legs close together to minimise your balance and further challenge your core. With an overhand grip and torso upright, grip a 10-25kg weight plate at ‘9 and 3’, on the floor, close to your left thigh.
2. Breathe in, filling your lungs and feeling your core expand. Create tension through your entire body by squeezing the plate as hard as possible, as well as tensing your glutes and quads. Lift the plate from the ground and control it all of the way around to the top of your crown, keeping your core upright and tight throughout.
3. As the plate passes around the back of your head, control it’s descent to the ground on the opposite side of your body, using the muscles of your trunk to resist the weight all of the way down, never allowing it to rotate or twist your torso. Lightly touch the plate on the ground, close to your right thigh.
4. Don’t allow the tension to dissipate as the weight touches down, immediately lift it again and reverse the motion under full control back over to the left hand side of your body. Keep your torso upright, forward facing and rigid throughout- think of it as a solid structure that you’re trying to fortify, one rep at a time.
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