In the fitness world, we hear a lot about the "core" and how we need to work it, strengthen it, etc. For those just getting into a workout regimen, the core core concept can be a bit confusing. What exactly is the core? Why is it so important?
As an experienced personal trainer in Las Vegas I know the core is more than just the abs. The core is the entire section of middle muscles, both front and back, including your upper and lower abdominals, upper and lower back muscles, and hip flexors. All of these muscles work in conjunction with one another and are at their best as part of the core core, not operating in isolation. Your core muscles are essentially your body's network of strength and stability.
I challenge my personal training clients to work their core on a regular basis. There's a reason behind this, besides just making workouts more challenging. The core is a critical to overall strength and health:
· Core of Balance – Your middle muscles control your body's balance and stability. With age and a decrease in fitness, balance can diminish very risking accidents and injury. A strengthened core can restore the body's overall balance and steadiness.
· Core of Daily Life – Day-to-day activities become easier with a strengthened core. Reaching up to a top shelf to grab something, picking up an item from the floor or even sitting at a desk for prolonged periods becomes easier and more comfortable with toned core muscles.
· Core of Strength – Your core is your center of strength and increased performance for most recreational activities. To do better in golf, tennis, swimming, basketball and many other sports, you need to have a strong core. Moreover, a solid core can help reduce the possibility of injuries because no individual muscles or joints are strained during activity.
· Core of Posture – You can try to hold your shoulders up and back all day long, but it will not do much for your post without the support of the muscles in the middle. A strong core not only improves posture, it also helps eliminate common types of back pain because strain is shifted from the spine to the muscles of the core.
· Core of the Six Pack – Defined abdominal muscles come from a strengthened core. It's not just about the muscles benefit the belly, it's about all of the middle muscles and how they work together. The abs can not become strong and defined without help from the other muscles in the core.
Th The good news about core exercises is that they're easy to do, do not require special equipment and can be done just about anywhere. Core exercises are not just about crunches and focusing on your abdominals, they're about everything that lifts and holds your body upright. My personal training clients are often working their core without even knowing it. A "jump shot squat," for example, utilizes and works core muscles even when the burn might be felt in the arms or legs. Also, any exercises involving balance help to improve the core.
Whether or not you work with a personal trainer, make sure you're incorporating your middle muscles into your workouts to ensure that you're becoming strong and healthy to the core!