Core—noun. The central abdominal muscles of a human; the center of the earth. Core—adjective. Essential, central, fundamental; the central or most important part of something (dictionary.com). Coincidence? I think not.
As a climber, core is the most important part of my workout routine. I need core to keep my feet on the wall when I’m on an overhang and to maintain tension in my entire body. I also need core—like everyone else—when I’m pushing a shopping cart, or getting out of bed, or walking downhill, or going about the rest of my life. Core is essential for everything, the most important muscle group in the upper body for anything from preventing injury to sticking your feet to near-horizontal walls.
So, I’ve compiled five of my favorite core exercises. Each of these can be done in sets—do as many as you can, then take a short break, then do another set. I go up to five sets—the fifth set should be very difficult.