Are Core Workouts A Waste Of Time?
Here’s the short answer…ab-solutely not!
Core training has been a buzz word in the fitness industry for many years now, but why does everybody think it’s so important?
Let’s begin with the basics. Many times, we think of “the core” as just our abdominals. But, the core is more than the front of your body! It also includes your obliques, which come around your sides, as well as your spinal erectors, and your back muscles. Imagine pulling on a girdle, or a pair of Spanx that would runs from your hips to your ribcage. Anything in this area is your core!
I love the classic zen quote, “Wherever you go, there you are.” And when it comes to our cores, truer words were never spoken. Wherever we go, our cores are what carry us there. Remember: It’s not about sculpting a perfect six-pack (although if you do midsection stabilization exercises often enough, you’ll love the slimming and toning effects). Core training is about protecting yourself from injury, and training your body to work properly, so that you can move freely wherever you go. Learning to stabilize your midsection is about living life on your own terms. (And it doesn’t hurt that you’ll look great while you’re doing it.)
Here’s 4 reasons why it’s vital to have a strong core:
1 – A powerful core improves your posture (which makes you look thinner!)
Besides having tight, flat abs, a strong core helps perfect your posture. Pretend like you’re putting on your favorite pair of blue jeans…you don’t want to squeeze any skin, so you have to pull in your belly button to your spine. This action engages and supports your core, and improves your posture to helps you look slimmer instantly!
2 – Almost every activity you do throughout the day uses your core
Whether you’re picking up a bag of groceries, lifting a child, sitting upright at a desk, or reaching down to tie your shoes, all of these activities use your midsection!
3 – Back pain can be relieved and sometimes even prevented by having a strong core.
Your back is protected by having proper posture as well as by maintaining strong back and ab muscles. A healthy back becomes vital as you age, especially since 80% of people experience back pain in their lives.
4 – Having and maintaining good balance depends on your core.
As you age, you start to lose your balance. But, having a strong core allows you to maintain your equilibrium, whether you’re standing on one leg in yoga class or if you trip on the sidewalk and need to quickly recover.
Here’s the good news….during your next workout, you can simply hold a plank on the floor, and this will train your core. But you don’t have to wait for a workout to train your core! You can engage your abs anytime, anywhere, whether you’re standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at a desk. Just remember the “blue jeans” trick I taught you above, and practice it throughout the day.
Here’s to your health!
WHAT IT DOES:
- This move is a plank with a twist, a core stabilizing exercise that recruits your obliques for rotation.
- Start in plank position, but this time, rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Be sure to keep the shoulders depressed back and down and the neck nice and long throughout the movement.
- Keeping your abs engaged, slowly swivel the hips underneath you to the right. Feel your obliques driving this motion as you swivel to the other side with a slow, controlled motion.
- You can modify this movement by resting on your knees instead of full plank position.
- Keep your feet stacked and move your toes as you rotate. So as you swivel the hips to the side, you’ll rest your weight primarily on the bottom toe, with the top foot resting on top of it.