The word “core” is often quite a misunderstood word with many thinking it’s just a set of chiselled abs. However, the abdominals are only a fraction of your core muscles and core exercises include a lot more than just crunches.
So many people think being flat to the mat and knocking out 100 sit ups a day will get them the abs they desire, but you will work more muscles efficiently with functional core training. Not only will it help you get that toned stomach, there are also many other benefits. Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical everyday activities like reaching a high shelf or picking up your kids, and it will also enhance your golf swing!
Weak core muscles can leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries. A rock-solid centre will help ensure that all your movements are strong and pain-free. By training this way, not only are you training other areas of your body but your also improving better strength gains, more efficient movement, and longevity of health.
Your core is basically from your torso down to your hips. All of the muscles contained here are vital for total body power, strength and stabilization. It’s basically our body’s powerhouse! Any exercise that involves the use of your abdominal and back muscles in a coordinated fashion counts as a functional core exercise.
For example, using free weights in a manner that involves maintaining a stable trunk can train and strengthen several of your core muscles, which will give you that toned stomach you long for. Functional movements include exercises like deadlifts, overhead squats, KB swings and pushups, among many other functional closed chain exercises. Even though it’s easy to presume that when we’re doing these exercises, our extremities do most of the work, the opposite it true: most movement starts at the centre and moves outward. Hanging knee lifts, side plank rotations, mountain climbers, woodchoppers and deadbugs are also great core exercises to add to your training programme. Check out our ‘killer core challenge’ here:
In summary, our core helps us do just about everything!