Information and articles for everyone who is passionate about sport or wants to get fit.
Building A Strong Core
You Can Build a Strong Core
by Christopher Guerriero
Core strength and stability is increasingly recognized as a
vital part of fitness. So...what is a strong core, and how do
you go about getting it?
The past five years have seen growing interest in resistance, or weight training programs, aimed at achieving core strength and
stability. While some of us might think apples when we hear the
word 'core', the word certainly doesn't refer to a throw-away
aspect of fitness.
What is core strength?
The muscles of the 'core' are primarily those of the trunk and
pelvis. The core muscles stabilize the spine and effectively
move the body with varying loads. If the trunk muscles are
weakened, then posture and movement can be affected
The core muscles are necessary for effective transfer of ENERGY
from large to small muscle groups.This type of training attempts
to anticipate and mimic movements that occur during your normal
day, such as twisting and turning. Training for core strength
and stability can lower the risk of injury and increase power
application for when you need it most during the day.
Strengthening the core muscles of the trunk and pelvis provides
a stable platform for the actions of the shoulder, arm and leg
muscles. Pilates exercises are a popular and effective way to
develop core strength and stability.
Muscles of the trunk and pelvis - Some of the most important
muscles of the core are the deeper abdominal muscles that wrap
and protect the spine; the abdominal muscles that run along the
front and sides of the abdomen; the erector muscles of the lower
back; and the muscles of the pelvic floor and hips. Having a
so-called 'six pack' of abdominal muscles does not necessarily
mean having good core strength and stability.
Some of the most important 'core' muscles actually lie
underneath the six-pack and, together with the erector muscles
of the spine, help maintain good posture and balance during
daily activity. This means that just doing sit-ups for the abs will not usually be enough to develop core strength.
Training for core strength and stability...
The major aim of core strength training is to perform exercises
that closely resemble specific movements that you do REGULARLY.
Emphasis should be placed on diagonal and rotational movements,
and promoting balance and strength by performing exercises
standing or sitting on different (including unstable) surfaces
such as balance beams, wobble boards, foam rollers, and fit
balls. Training should emphasis a balance between developing
agonist(prime movers) and antagonist muscles. The best core
training involves movements that are performed while balancing
on one leg, or shifting the body weight from one leg to another,
and so exercises mimicking these actions should be incorporated
into your training program. Examples might include kicking a football while on the run and pushing hard while cycling up
Exercises to improve core strength...
Since there are several different trunk, back, and pelvic
muscles that make up the 'core', it is important to perform a
variety of exercises that target these muscle groups.
Standard abdominal exercises (such as sit ups and
Fit ball exercises (including roll outs, walk outs,
sit ups, leg lifts, and jack knifes)
exercises with an emphasis on deadlift, squat and lunge
Medicine ball training (overhead throwing to a partner, side
throw, rugby passing, lunge exercises holding the medicine ball
above the head)
Balancing exercises on a wobble board, balance
beam, or foam roller (standing on one or both feet, walking
forwards and backwards, with eyes open or eyes closed)
Although not absolutely necessary, these exercises provide
another level of stimulation and are encouraged whenever there
is access to such specialist equipment.
As a whole, nobody should go through an entire week without
doing some structured form of core training.
Christopher Guerriero is the founder of the National Metabolic &
Longevity Research Center and a best-selling author, speaker,
and coach to millions. He is creator of the award-winning
'Maximize Your Metabolism' system. To learn more about this
step-by-step program, and to sign up for FREE how-to articles
and FREE teleseminars, visit: www.MaximizeYourMetabolism.co