Posted by Jannell
on Jul 1, 2012 in Fitness
| 0 comments
Core workouts include more than just your abdominals. Crunches and abdominal exercises are important for your core, but there’s more to it than that! Multiple muscles make up your core: the abdominals (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal/external obliques), the pelvic floor muscles, the multifidus, and erector spinae are the primary movers with the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and gluteus maximus aiding in stability.
Core strength is vital because it helps stabilize the spine and pelvis. If you spend a lot of time driving or sitting at a computer, a strong and stable core can help prevent spinal injuries and the development of a hunchback posture. Additionally, research has shown that a weak core can contribute to lower back pain.
So besides the common abdominal crunch, what can you do to strengthen your core? There are tons of other exercises that tone your core and can help tighten your middle. From push ups, to planks, to ab exercises and back extensions, we are working our core and thus, improving our overall stability, strength, and balance.
One of the most important things to remember when working your core is to master the basic move and then add on the advancements. Once you are comfortable in the dolphin plank or high plank, by adding a leg or arm lift, you add a variation that shifts your body’s center of gravity, working your deep stabilization muscles in creative and new ways.
Regardless of your form of exercise (running, swimming, biking, yoga, team sports) a strong core helps you to maintain optimal body alignment, ultimately preventing early fatigue. The better your form, the less energy is expended, and the more likely you are to keep your balance and prevent injury.
I’ve reposted the PBZ core workout this week. It’s the perfect workout on its own or you can pair it with your normal running/swimming/biking routine. While every PBZ workout strengthens your core, this particular workout is core focused. My recommendation is to work it in to your fitness routine at least once per week.