Effective Core Work and Its Benefits

Effective Core Work and It's Benefits

Effective core work and its benefits

A well-defined, toned six-pack is an aesthetic feature that many want, but feels unattainable to most. If a six-pack is one of your long-term goals, the good news is: Your abs are already there, even if they are not the six-pack abs of your dreams. The question is, how do you get your abs to show? To give you an exact answer, we first have to distinguish between ab and core work.

The difference between abs and core

Abs is an abbreviation for our abdominal muscles. Contrary to popular belief, the core doesn't just include the rectus abdominis muscles (your abs). According to the Harvard Medical School, abdominal muscles also include the internal and external obliques in the front and side of your abdomen, the transverse abdominis across your lower abdomen, and the multifidus and erector spinae in your back. Your core includes all of those muscles plus your diaphragm, muscles of the pelvic floor, hip flexors and gluteal muscles.

Why core exercises are essential for training and lifestyle

Obviously, core exercises help you tone your abs and let you work towards your goal of reaching the beloved six-pack abs, but there are more benefits to having a strong core:

  • Core training improves functional fitness.

It's not all about hitting your next personal record in the gym. We also need to function in everyday life. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many activities, from getting a glass from the top shelf to bending down and tying your shoelaces. A strong core also improves your balance and stability.

  • Core training reduces the risk for lower back pain.

Are you already suffering from back pain? According to information from the National Institutes of Health, working on strengthening your core can relieve back pain in the future. A strong core actually improves your posture and prevents lower back pain from occurring.

  • Core training reduces the risk for various lower body injuries.

A strong core can minimize the risk for several injuries. According to research from the National Institutes of Health, core stability training appears to be especially effective at reducing lower extremity, or any part of your body from the hip to your toes, injury rates.

  • Core training improves your athletic performance.

A strong core is crucial for athletes since powerful movements originate from the center of the body outward. Effective core training can help you generate more powerful and rapid arm and leg movements.

  • Core training tones your abs.

Last but not least – consistent core training paired with a healthy diet will keep your waistline tight and give you a toned set of abs.

Core training is more than sit-ups and crunches

Considering the benefits, core exercises should be a regular part of your workouts – even if your goal isn't to show off your ripped abs at the pool.

Unfortunately, the occasional sit-ups and crunches won't make a significant difference. Since many of the essential abdominal muscles are hidden beneath the exterior musculature people typically train, you might be missing important muscle groups.

According to Cleveland Clinic experts, a good mix of various exercises including planks, side planks, bird dogs and the cobra stretch is great to see and feel results. NASM also outlines how stabilization exercises are the most beneficial for strengthening your midsection and are essential to creating a strong core.

While actual core exercises help you strengthen and tone the underlying muscle tissue in your core, just remember it also takes cardiovascular and aerobic activity to burn abdominal fat and make your abs visible on the surface.

Let's go hard core!

A strong core has many advantages, reaching from daily tasks to long-term health to physical performance. And just like strong muscles go hand in hand to build a strong core, strong abs provide the groundwork for a healthy and fit lifestyle. You can't have one without the other. Let's start building that strong core today!




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