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, oblique’s, 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.
People who are lacking in core strength are susceptible to injuries as well. These injuries stem often from putting the body in a work state that it cannot tolerate. This is especially true when it comes to the big lifts like a deadlift or squat. Stronger core equals bigger weight, period. Lower back problems are a huge issue with anyone with a weak core because a lot of lifting revolves around using the back/core and if those stabilizer muscles are weak, they usually will give out rather easily in comparison to someone with a strong, conditioned core.
When it comes to a good, effective core workout, the options are endless it seems. Some “so-called” core workouts focus too much on the superficial muscles such as the front abs and obliques, so be cautious. Static training movements such as planks are great for anyone who is just starting a fitness routine and looking to build up core strength. Here however is a list of some pretty effective core exercises that can be done almost anywhere:
- Planks (regular and sides)
- Leg Raises
- Mountain Climbers
- Reverse Crunches
- Weighted Sit-Ups
- Dumbbell/Medicine Ball Twists
The list can go on and on. Core training is a critical component to anyone looking to get into shape for a sport or even every day functioning. Many people sadly neglect effective core training and simply focus on sit-ups and side bends. The more strength and conditioning one has in their core, the more their body will have in the gym, on the field, and in life.
Get to work!