In this .com world of on-the-go-meals and bottled water, there seems to be about an average of 30 magazine articles a month pushing guaranteed core workouts that do everything from make you a better runner, to looking sexy in a swimsuit, to making you a better librarian, to a.. well you get the just.
My personal position is don't overly isolate muscle groups. A lot of workouts have you only hitting one spot that the author believes in the most important because they are weak there themselves or they have a grand vision for the American people to have the best obliques on the face of the earth. However, I see core workouts like barefoot workouts: teamwork for the muscles. Running barefoot; the arch, ankle, calf, and whole body work together to cushion impact. Here, "lateral side-swings" and "gymnast swings" engage the shoulders, back, hamstrings, quads, and deep core abdominal muscles in conjunction.
"Lateral Side Swings"
right(right knee above wrist, close to or touching your pectorals)
down(feet off the ground)
left(left knee above waist, close to or touching your chest)
repeat in sets of 10-20, 3-4 times in rotation with Gymnast Swings
Forward(legs slightly bent, feet swinging up to just above pelvis to hold for 2 seconds. For added fun, keep legs straight or kick out legs when they reach the top)
Back (rotate through moving chest forward and tighetning your back to rotate hips flat so the pelves is pointed downward. Ensure a tight grip on the bars to get the backward motion to hold for 2 seconds)
1 rep=1 back and forward motion
Repeat sets of 10-20 for 3-4 sets with lateral side swings