If you’re new to modern fitness workouts, you may be curious about all the hype about training your core. If you think it’s just about getting a 6-pack, you need to familiarize yourself with the true value of training your core, because it goes far beyond just crunches and ab exercises. In this blog, we’ll look at the exercises that train your core and find out why it is it such a big deal to have a strong core.
What is my core anyway?
Your core is the set of muscles in your trunk, essentially everywhere except for your arms and legs. Whereas the muscles on the surface can be bulked up to give you a nice set of abs, the muscles deeper down play a huge part in your stability, flexibility, and resilience. These muscles don’t contribute as much to how you look as to how much overall strength you have.
Do I need to exercise my core?
The short answer is yes! Exercising your core brings you a lot of benefits. Here are just a few:
- Having a strong core makes you more resistant to injury.
- A strong core contributes to giving you better posture.
- Core training can contribute to giving you a slimmer waistline.
- Having great core strength can make you better at everyday tasks, from doing the dishes to picking up heavy items.
- Being able to engage your core will help you to maintain a healthy back.
- A finely honed core will improve your balance and stability in all activities.
How can I tell how strong my core is?
Have you ever noticed feeling fatigue when you are holding something in front of you? This is revealing to you that your core strength is not where it should be. You could be as strong or stronger than other people around you and yet still have a weak core. Test your core strength with the following methods:
- Time yourself to see how long you can hold a plank while maintaining proper form. Your posture should be so straight that a rod placed on your back equally touches your head, shoulders, hips, and calves.
- Time yourself to see how long you can hold a side plank while maintaining proper form. Your feet should be stacked on top of each other and your back, hips, and knees should all be in a straight line.
What can I do to strengthen my core?
Our fitness classes and personal trainers here at Every Body Balance are all geared toward strengthening your core in conjunction with your other muscles so that you have a well-rounded and balanced level of fitness. Nothing should be done in isolation. Here are some more tips for getting–and keeping–a strong core.
- Take a Muscle Conditioning, Core Fitness, or even a Zumba class. This is a very effective technique to build core strength.
- Get into the habit of practicing your planks, push ups, ab exercises, and pull ups. There are many other poses and techniques that we can show you to build that core.
- Set a trigger (like a phone reminder) to remind yourself to engage your core, especially if your work involves sitting.
Get more core training at our Every Body Balance Yoga Studio by signing up for a class or Personal Training today.