“Core” has become a major buzzword in fitness these days. Why? Because your core is involved in virtually every movement you make. Core training isn’t just about a six pack. In fact, your core extends far beyond your abdominal muscles and includes everything except your limbs. These muscles provide support for your entire back and spinal column and can be a major factor in preventing injuries.

Not only does a strong core prevent injuries and provide support for your back and spinal column. Strengthening your core muscles will improve your posture, balance, and strength. Each of the major core muscles: transverse abdominis, rectus adominis, oblique muscles and glutes, plays a vital roll in building strength and performance.

  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
  • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.lifehack.org

Planks are generally regarded as the number one core exercise and rightly so.  Planks engage each of the major core muscles listed above and can be performed anywhere. Core specific exercises, such as the plank, are an important part of a workout routine, but it is also important to incorporate functional core training throughout your entire workout. While there are many methods for incorporating functional core training, the first step is to stop using machines, which often isolate specific muscles and do not allow for strengthening of the core. Another helpful tip for core strengthening is to try to perform as many exercises as possible standing, while always concentrating on tightening the core muscles.  As you become more comfortable, there are many other methods for incorporating core exercises such as TRX, resistance bands and BOSU balls.

For more information on core training, contact one of the personal trainers at Loggerhead Fitness.