[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you’ve ever done a super intense ab workout you know the pain of every movement the next day. And the things you didn't realize you used your abs for. Although well defined abs look great in a bikini, having a strong core should be one of our main goals in the gym. [embed]https://youtu.be/bwB5rCM0th4[/embed]
So what is your ‘core’? Most people who have taken a pilates or yoga class will point to their belly button, or lower back and abs. The best way to think of your core is to see it as a corset. From hips to ribs and around your waist it helps to stabilize every movement you do. Your core is your abdominals and lower back, but also your mid back, pelvic muscles, and even your hip muscles.
Your core plays a part in every movement you make, in the gym but also out of it. There are so many important things that your core does, but let’s chat about a few that I find are the most important when we’re spending time in the gym.
First, your core is responsible for your balance. And if you remember that day when your abs were aching like crazy, well you’ll know that most every move you make requires balance. Strengthening your core is going to help strengthen your balance. The better your balance is, the more you’ll be able to do for strength training. It’s also going to serve you in everyday life, to help you avoid those little slips and spills that would happen if you didn’t have great balance.
Second, your core helps to protect your back! I talked about how integral chiropractic care is for me. Keeping your body in alignment is key for anyone in the gym, and anything you can do to make that easier is great. A strong core means that every time we lift we have an extra layer of protection on our back. Remember that corset idea, well, it’s hard to bend the wrong way, or twist and tweak things when you’re wearing a corset. When our core is strong it’s harder to hurt ourselves and our backs.
And third, and possibly my favorite advantage of a strong core, is that it makes upper body work more effective, and easier! When we can use our core to stabilize our body and lower back, we can really isolate our arms, upper back, shoulders etc. Because we’re not trying to compensate for a weak core, our workout is more effective. We’re able to really focus on what we’re trying to strengthen or define, instead of our back, or balance, or posture, it becomes easier
Strengthening your core isn’t something that has to take over your workouts. Adding a core strengthening circuit to your regular workouts is an easy way to start. Repeat this circuit 2 or 3 times every time you’re in the gym and you’ll notice the difference pretty quickly.
Core Strengthening Circuit
20 Crunches 20 Hip Ups 1:00 Plank 20 Russian Twists 20 V-Sits 1:00 Side Plank