Everyone should find interest in creating a strong core, whether you are bending over to pick something up from the floor or if you repetitively turn from side to side on the job or any of the many functions your core serves you day in day out, it can be real easy to suffer a pull or even injure your lower back just from doing one of your daily tasks.
The best way to avoid many of the setbacks a person may encounter from repetitive wear and tear and strain in the core region, especially the lower back is to keep a daily regimen of stretching and strengthening the core. Today I want to cover the importance of core fitness training for greater core stability and some good guidelines to follow to get you on your way.
Things to avoid
Some of the information that has been handed down over the years on the best exercises for training your midsection are sit ups and crunches but these exercises are harmful to your lower back and do not promote a natural curvature of the spine when performing these exercises.
when muscle soreness occurs make sure that you drink plenty of water, make sure that you stretch your muscles throughout the course of the day and another good thing to include especially if you have muscle soreness is to have a post workout drink, this will aid in greater muscle recovery.
A good practice to be in the habit of is to use your legs and as little back as possible when bending to pick something up from the floor.
Muscles in motion
In core training to cover the abdominal muscles in motion are the Rectus abdominus which covers the area from your sternum all the way down to your pelvis bone and it’s action is pulls the upper torso to the hips.
Obliques are located at the side of the waist, the muscles that make up the obliques are the internal obliques, transverse obliques and external obliques, there action is to tilt and twist the torso.
Intercostals lie between the sides of the rib cage, they come into play when you flex the torso and twist from side to side. Their action is in elevation and depression of the ribs.
The serratus are located between the front abs and lats, their action is in the pulling of the scapula forward and around like Rocky would do when he throws a punch.
Next I would like to cover some static core strengthening exercises. For those of you that may not be familiar with what static moves are, they are when you adopt a position and hold that position, I would recommend holding a position for 30 seconds.
The bird dog you take position on your hands and knees, extend your left leg up and straight back and extend your right arm out keeping your thumb forward, hold this position for 30 seconds keeping your core muscles tight.
After you complete the 30 seconds, return back to your hands and knees and extend your right leg up and straight back and raise your left arm straight forward pointing your thumb forward, hold this position for 30 seconds keeping your core muscles tight and return back to starting position an repeat ten repetitions.
The plank is another great move beginners can use as well as the bird dog. Like face down on the floor propping yourself up on your elbows, toes on the floor and raise your hips up of the floor and hold this position as shown in the image for 30 seconds.
If you are new to these exercises it may be difficult to hold your hips up from the floor, if you can’t hold this move for 30 seconds then just hold this position for as long as you can and work your way up.
The side plank is similar to the plank except you take position on your side resting your elbow on the floor feet on the floor and raise your hip of the floor and hold this position for 30 seconds. After you have completed the move for 30 seconds, turn to your other side and repeat.
The hip bridge first you will take position on your back, legs bent with feet flat on the floor, arms at sides, palms on the floor and raise your buttocks off the floor and hold this position for 30 seconds, do this exercise for 10 repetitions.
The ab wheel is one of my favorites, for this exercise you will need an ab wheel apparatus as shown in the image or similar to this one, you can also perform this exercise with a dumbbell, the type that you slip weights on a bar as long as the bar extends out past the weights that you can use for handles.
Grab the ab wheel in hands with your knees on the floor and roll straight forward keeping your core muscles tight and return back to starting position. With the ab wheel you can alternate from going forward to side to side, this will work the obliques as well when going from side to side.
Benefits of core training
. Tightens the abdominals and improves your transfer of power.
. Train’s your muscles to work together.
. Can help with the aid in preventing of injury.
. Strengthens and improves the torsos stability.
. Can improve your respiratory functionality.
. Enhance neuromuscular efficiency.
. Improves spinal and posture control.
. Helps to stabilize and align the spine, ribs and pelvis of a person to withstand static and dynamic energy.
. Tightens and flattens the stomach.
I have just covered a handful of some of the basic core exercises great for beginners and any level of trainer looking to increase or maintain their core strength, but there is another great way to build your core strength with exercises that are a little more advanced.
The exercise ball is an incredible way to build your core strength and core stability, although using an exercise ball will be a little unstable and your stabilizer muscles will definitely kick in, it would be a good idea to check with your doctor first to make sure that you don’t have any underlying physical or health issues that could cause a problem.
I would recommend that you start out with the exercises that I laid out if you are new to core training, after you have spent some time on these exercises and you feel comfortable with them then you can progress into a more advanced core training program.
Click on the link I have supplied for a variety of exercises with the exercise ball that you can give a try, just make sure that you feel comfortable doing these exercises because some of the moves can be a challenge.
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If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the box.