The idea of being fit is often misrepresented with this thought: “I need to lift heavy and spend my days bench pressing and running.” I am writing this article to let you know that there is so much more to fitness and health than lifting crazy and running your heart out. We need not forget the core, the concept of mobility, or functionality. Today we are going to discuss why corework is essential.
What is the core? Many assume the core is the abdomen. Incorrect. The core also refers to the whole midsection of your body, which includes your side body, lower back. We recommend that anytime you focus on your abs that you also do some lower back exercises and vice versa. The reason for this is balance. The front half and back half of your body support each other. They’re married. And, though each are responsible for different functions, they need each other to be their best.
Core exercises often burn (this deters many from doing them), and in our daily lives many of us are hunched over computers and phones, which do not engage the core. This is unfortunate because no matter how in-shape your biceps are, it’s useless if your body can’t hold them up.
Having a strong core means so much more than having washboard abs. It means having the ability to support yourself, to stand and sit in proper postural alignment, and to perform daily activities in a way that will help you reduce your risk of injury. Because of this, performing core workouts are essential in your weekly routine.
Also, swinging your body in a crunching motion, often straining the neck , upper and lower back, is not the key to building strong abs. Using such force and asking the backside of your body to perform the work for the front side of your body as you crunch will only lead to strain and fatigue, and will not target the abs/core at all. Performing ab exercises in a supine position (face up) in the incorrect form is potentially dangerous.
So, with this being said, it’s paramount that those who are working on their core always be aware of any strain felt in the neck, shoulder, upper back, lower back, and should readjust/modify their workout when this occurs. When you plank, for example, you are in a prone position (face down) and you should feel it predominantly in your abs, but also in your shoulders, arms, and upper back in a GOOD way. In supine position for a crunch, for example, you should also feel it predominantly in your abs, but not at all in your neck, shoulders or lower back. You may feel a bit of pressure in your lower back from the support its giving you through this exercise, but it should not feel painful.
It’s also important when performing ab exercises in the supine position that you find pelvic neutral before you begin the exercise. One way you can do this is by laying supine on the floor with your knees bent, put your hands on your hips, and tilt your hips forward until you have a huge gab between your lower back and the floor, and then tilt them back until there is no space between your lower back and the floor. The middle between the two is pelvic neutral. Performing supine ab exercises in pelvic neutral will put you in the proper placement to work on your abdomen, reducing risk of injury ( i.e.: saving you from lower back pain and issues). Please note, if you already have injuries or ailments to any core muscles there will be core exercises unsafe to perform.
Finally, it’s important to work your obliques, lower abs, and upper abs. Many think that sit ups and crunches are all you need, but if you only do these exercises you are missing many parts of the core that are not getting to activate. To target all parts of your abdomen you need to do ab exercises in the prone, supine, standing, and sideplank positions. It’s important to pick exercises that position you in the ways that are safest for you and will yield the best results based on your needs, current or past injuries, and your goals.
I hope this has been helpful regarding working out the core and has given people some tips concerning corework! Thanks for reading!
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