Core Training 101

Collage of several of Gray's muscle pictures, ...

Image via Wikipedia

The term “core training” is every where today.  You see it in fitness magazines, t.v ads, health stores, and you hear about it in the gym.  Just what is core training and why is it so popular?

To begin with, lets look at what muscles make up your core.  The major muscles of the core are found in the area of the belly, mid and lower back, and depending on your source they can also include the buttocks.  To break it down further for you, the muscles included in those areas are:pelvic floor muscles, transverse abdominus, multifidus, internal and external obliques, longissimus thoracis, the diaphram, rectus abdominus, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, and trapezius. 

What role does your core play in everyday life?  Well, it helps to determine your posture, aligns the spine, ribs and pelvis to help you resist a force, keeps your trunk stable while limbs are active, and keeps your back healthy.  When your core muscles are not functioning properly, other muscles need to pick up the slack and this can result in a muscular imbalance which can lead to postural problems, and possibly injury.  The core is one area of the body that few people devote time to strengthening. More often than not, those same people are the ones who suffer from back pain or other related injuries.

Now that we have reviewed what muscles make up your core and why you need to develop them,  how do you go about doing that effectively?  You see everyone at the gym doing some sort of sit up or crunch, but you are unsure what would be the best exercises for you.  Here is a list of excellent core exercises that do not involve any type of sit up or crunch and are an excellent way of developing all aspects of your core.

There are many variations of these exercises and of course many other great core options as well, but these are a few to get you started.  The great thing about the ones listed above is that you don’t need to go to the gym to do them.  All you need is a comfortable spot in the house, a resistance band and a swiss ball.  The benefits of working your core will include improved posture, better stability, reduced back pain, and improved athletic performance.  Start incorporating them into your routine today and feel the difference it makes in everyday activities.

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About Lisa

Lisa is a Certified Personal Trainer who is passionate about fitness and living an active lifestyle. She has a strong background in nutrition, having been a Chef for almost 15 years and applies this knowledge to helping her clients achieve their goals.
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One Response to Core Training 101

  1. Strong Core says:

    Good post… nice explanation of core musculature and function. I also like your choice of exercises; I incorporate these with my clients all the time. I also use the Power Wheel to perform exercises such as knee tucks, pikes, and roll-outs, which are basically like holding a plank or a bridge core contraction while creating a longer lever (by extending arms or legs)… hurts so good! (o:

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