(Read to the bottom of this article as there is a video link too!!)
Your core is a complex group of muscles, and an area misunderstood by many people. I hear people talking about working on their “core” when in fact they are only focusing on their abdominal muscles… There is so much more to your core than your abs!
I like to describe the core as the “barrel” of your body. So yes this includes your abdominals, but also includes other major muscle groups including your obliques, transverse abdominals, pelvic floor muscles, diaphragm, lower back (multifidus, erector spinae) and your bum (gluteus maximus).
Your core muscles are so important as they are incorporated in to almost every movement pattern of the human body. The primary reason I include lot’s of functional core work in to my clients programmes is to help them strengthen and protect their spine and surrounding muscles from injury… After that we can think about our bikini bodies and six packs!
This is not to say that you should be dedicating lots of time to isolated core exercises, please don’t read this and think I need to do a 100 crunches every day! If you are incorporating functional and compound exercises in to your workouts, then by default your core should be getting a workout too! Also, by training your core this way you get much better strength gains and more efficient movement.
I’ve listed 10 examples of the types of exercise I use with clients, they include a mix of compound (exercises that engage two or more different joints) and specific isolation exercises. Whilst the names below might seem a little daunting (and weird) to some of you, don’t be put off as there is always a version for every fitness level and age group.
* There are many different variations of a plank to suit your current fitness level.
A quick warning… If you’ve never done the exercise before then make sure you learn the correct technique before your start, poor technique can negate the effectiveness of the exercise and potentially lead to injury.
Keep strong guys… Any questions or comments then fire them over to me.
Founder of Lion Fitness
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