Get to the Core of the Matter

The new catch cry in exercise is “Strong Core, Strong Body”. In recent years we have come to realise the importance of a strong core and as such are now putting into place programs designed to have the body run as a complete machine rather than bits and pieces as with isolation exercises. You will see the difference when you have a strong core, better posture less body aches and pains and better performance on the sporting field.

With the advent of Swiss or fitness balls and BOSU (which means Both Sides Up) in case you were curious! We now realize the importance of  working the core. There are 29 muscles that make up the core chain, don’t ask me to name them, I just pulled that of Google . For your information the core of the body as the name suggests is the central, trunk of the body including everything minus arms, legs and head. From a fitness point of view I treat it as the point from just below the chest to where the thighs begin or where you butt ends. I have come to realize and to reinforce to you that a strong core is paramount to whatever task you may undertake, whether it be on the sporting field or day to day life, a strong core drives your overall strength, fitness, endurance, and this leads to a better quality of life knowing you have a strong foundation to launch into what life throws your way.

How most people train their core muscles?

Sit-ups, sit-ups and more sit-ups or crunches, crunches and more crunches. Because the

rectus abdominis  (the famed “6 or now 8” pack)is the most visible muscle it gets all the attention. However, strengthening just this muscle and forgetting the rest is dangerous. It only strengthens the front of the abdomen so there is little support on the sides and at the back. This doesn’t mean you should never do these exercises, but activities that include all the core muscles working together are important.

 

Some Great Core Exercises

In your everyday living get into the habit of tightening the muscles in you abdominal region

Plank or Bridge

This involves holding the body rigid and parallel to the floor, keeping everything from shoulders to ankles in a straight line. Start  lying on your stomach then push up onto your toes and elbows, keeping your body straight. You’ll realize how loooong the ad breaks are when you do this!

Side plank

This is similar to the plank except you are on one elbow and the outside of one foot. Hold your body in a straight line for as long as you can and make sure you do both sides.
Working on these three is a good start to strengthening your core muscles. Just a few minutes each day can make the difference.