It is no fun when it just seems like getting stronger and more agile is just not in the cards for you. Limitations have been met, and you are just going to have to accept that you are only going to get “so fit” in life. The issue with this mindset is you are going about making your mind up in an incomplete fashion. By simply looking at your ability to do certain movements and not looking at getting your body stronger foundational is really cutting yourself way short.
You are most likely stronger than you realize, you just have not understood the importance of getting your core where it needs to be, which requires you to train it separately from the “show muscles” you believe is doing all the work.
Anything that is built is only going to be as strong as its foundation. Nothing is any different when it comes to the body. People can put so much time into building bigger arms, chests, shoulders, etc., but if they do not have a solid foundation, the body is out of balance and lacks strength. Core training is the key to a strong foundation in one’s body.
Many folks have heard the term “core” at some point in life, but what is it? A big misconception is that the core is simply the abs, which is only a fraction of the correct answer. The core is the midsection but involves all the muscles in that area which include the front, back and sides. Muscles included are the traverse abdominis, erector spinae, obliques, and lower lats. These muscles all act as a group of stabilizer muscles for the entire body. So, it does not take a genius to see how training these muscles are imperative to a strong and balanced body.
Sit-ups seem to be the go to for a workout of the core, but as you just read, you are only covering a fraction of the area needed. By simply performing body weighted movements such as push ups and pull ups on a regular basis are great for indirectly engaging the core, maybe as much as a sit-up. All this adds up in time. Being consistent is important so remain steadfast in what you do, and you will see an increase in your bigger lifts as well.
A few examples of good core movements that are NOT sit-ups include:
- Planks (regular and sides)
- Leg Raises
- Mountain Climbers
- Reverse Crunches
- Dumbbell/Medicine Ball Twists
This is just a small list of course, but one that can provide a start to a stronger, more agile you. Set aside a “core day” once a week where all you do is core movements. This might not seem like the most appealing, but it will show its worth in due time, inside and outside of the gym. Focus on 4-6 movements perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps each.