Let’s get down to the core of it.
Do not be intimidated by what you don’t know, that just might be your greatest strength, so let’s get down to the core of it. Your core stabilizes your body. It helps prevent falls and supports your body. So having a strong core is beneficial to everyone because it allows your body to function properly.
Keeping these muscles strong helps stabilize your body, support your spine, and enhance your overall fitness. I have been working with many clients for a while, and the core is one of the main things I focus on with them. The drastic difference in clients is their ability to gain stability, lose weight and get stronger faster when we work on their foundation. My whole personal training regimen is based on the core and maintaining a beach body year-round. Living here in Florida, there is no real winter hibernation. You can be at the beach in the dead of winter with 70-degree weather while people are shoveling snow up north all bundled up.
When most people think of their core, they automatically think abs. While your abs are a key component to the core, your core also includes your low back and hips as well. Whether or not you realize it, you should be engaging your core constantly whether you are doing a workout, standing in the kitchen cooking a meal, or sitting down at work. Your core is your center of gravity, and a strong core allows for stronger functional movement throughout exercise and everyday life. Here are 5 core exercises that will strengthen your core.
The plank (also called a front hold, hover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time. This is my absolute favorite core exercise of all time. In fact, I do plank variations in every single workout. If I had to do one core exercise for the rest of my life, this would be it.
To begin, lie straight and facedown on the floor. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs and chest off the floor and hold this contraction for 20 seconds then relax and repeat. This move really targets the low back. In fact, many people suffer from low back pain because their core (including their low back) is actually really weak.
In this exercise, you sit with legs extended and torso off the ground, your body forming a V shape. Hold this for 20 seconds then relax and repeat. If extending your legs is too difficult, you can do it with bent knees until you gain the core strength. See how long you can do this move without shaking!
Lie on your back, legs straight and together. Keep your legs straight and lift them all the way up to the ceiling until your butt comes off the floor. Slowly lower your legs back down till they’re just above the floor. Hold for a moment. Raise your legs back up. Repeat. This move should not hurt your low back. If it does, place your hands underneath your lower back for support and/or don’t drop your legs down as low. This exercise is meant to work your core, not hurt it, so make sure you are listening to your body’s signals.
Performed from a plank position, you’ll alternate bringing one knee to your chest, then back out again, speeding up each time until you’re “running” against the floor. While it sounds simple, mountain climbers are sure to get your heart rate up.
Your core is your entire support system. Your core muscles play a huge role in your everyday activities, from getting out of bed, walking down the street, and bending over to grab an item; most importantly, they literally help you stay upright and give you good posture. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie so as to place the least strain on muscles and ligaments while you are moving or performing weight-bearing activities.
Like I said before, you really should be engaging your core during every workout as well as everyday activities. Your core is your foundation, and the key to overall fitness. Try to incorporate these exercises into your training and feel free to contact me for tips, info and any Q&A at