By PT Dane Paterson
Continuing on from hiit training, today I will be talking about Core Training.
Core: What is it?
A strong core and regular core training is very important for everyday life as you use your core for almost everything you do. Most people associate core training with just the muscles of the stomach or think a strong core is a well-defined 6 pack. Although, yes, core training does give a toned set of abdominal muscles, it involves a lot more than just crunches and sit ups. Having a weak core will make it harder for you to do a lot of everyday tasks that are taken for granted, such as:
- Carrying the shopping bags to and from the car
- Hoping in and out of bed
- Bending and picking things up
While it is important for everyday activities, regular training of the core creates/gives you many benefits.
Benefits of Core training
- Tightens and flattens the stomach
- Helps stabilize and align the spine, ribs and pelvis
- Improves spinal and postural control when the body is not in motion and in motion
- Improves athletic performance
- Improves efficiency in everyday activities as-well as gym/exercise function
- Improves balance and stability
- Improves respiratory function
- Improves personal confidence
- Reduces risk of injury
The core is split up into major and minor muscle groups. The major muscles used in core training are: pelvic floor muscles, transverse abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae and the diaphragm while the minor muscles used in core training include: latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus and the trapezius.
As core is important in helping the development of the rest of your body, training it is not like training other muscle groups. While your core not only needs and deserves specific exercises and time/routine just like other muscle groups, it is largely trained when performing other exercises. Your core works while training other muscle groups to get the best out of that movement or exercise for e.g. squats, deadlifts etc. When performing exercises for muscles groups other than core it is necessary to “engage or switch on” your core to stabilize your posture and protect your spine. Though this will not only help your exercise/movements, it will also help make your everyday activities (which were mentioned above) become easier to do without any stress or pain.
If you’d like to learn more about core training and how to target the different area of your core or specifically learn ways to ‘engage/switch on’ when doing other exercises, come down to Spectrum Fitness and see me Dane Paterson or one of the friendly staff and we will be happy to help.
Stay tuned for the next article as I’ll explain about one of my favorite movements to do Squats.