It seems like every fitness article you read is obsessed with a strong core, there are classes on the timetable that focus on the core, other gym members talk about core workouts or ‘core day’ incessantly, but what is your core anyway?
Well here’s the science bit!
Your core is made of four parts:
Rectus Abdominals (the six pack) which allows you to bend forwards, keeps your organs in place and breathe... and you thought it just for show!
The Internal Obliques, these live under your love handles and they help you to flex and rotate to the side, they also help you to breathe.
The External Obliques, also under the love handles, they perform a similar function to the Internal Obliques, just in a bigger and stronger way. They are the most powerful of the abdominal muscles.
Transverse Abdominis, the deep muscles, protect our internal organs and regulate abdominal pressure.
Best core strength routine
Sit ups simply won’t cut it, you need a core strength workout routine that hits and strengthens all four areas.
Try adding Planks, Dumbbell Deadlifts, Bicycle Crunches and Side Planks to your routine. If you are unfamiliar with any of these exercises please speak to your personal trainer or check them out on YouTube. If you perform these core exercises as part of your routine, you will hit all of the four parts of your core and improve your overall core strength.
Good core strength will improve your posture, which is crucial for long term health and wellbeing. It will help you to avoid back problems and pain, or help to alleviate it if you already suffer.
Not feeling excited yet?
Ok, here’s the best bit, it will help you with your athletic performance, you will be able to lift more, lift heavier, run faster, ride quicker or jump higher. It will even improve your bedroom performance!
In summary, core training should be the ‘core’ of any good workout programme.