A core workout post by Cambridge personal training expert Callie Durbrow
How to Train Your Core Properly and Why You Should Never Do Crunches
Welcome back to the ultimate Cambridge personal training resource for fat loss. I wanted to talk with you today about core training. I got a ton of comments on Facebook last week when I posed a question about what struggles people face in fitness.
So many people wanted to know about core training. Not only for fat loss but also to help reduce injury. I had a friend mention that she’s in physical therapy now after doing some funky twisting exercises. I also have a friend who coaches high school lacrosse and he wanted to help them with their performance. That’s where core training is crucial because no matter what your goals are, you MUST have a strong core or your results will suffer.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the actual exercises, I want you to understand the anatomy of the core. Think of a tree trunk….all of the roots are grounded at the bottom but it’s very heavy at the top with all the branches and leaves. What holds that up? The middle (or core) of the tree. If that’s not solid, it falls over. So here’s where a lot of folks miss the boat (not you though, because you read my stuff 🙂
Don’t think of your core as just your abs. Your core is your abdominals, your transverse abdominals (deep abdominal muscles that attach directly to the spine), your obliques (twisting muscles), lower back, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes (butt muscles) and your hip flexors (front of the hip). All of these muscles must be strong and able to work together. If one link in the chain in weak you are setting yourself up for potential injury. It may not be today or tomorrow at the gym, but over time your body breaks down.
When you perform crunches and sit ups, you are targeting your abdominal muscles only but leaving out the ever important lower back and transverse abdominals. You are also performing a lot of unnecessary flexion of the spine which can put too much pressure on the lower back and neck.
Instead we want to focus on the primary task of the core…stabilizing the spine. Here are some of the movements to add into your program in order to increase your core strength and help you lose fat faster because your workouts will be more efficient.
1. Planks (standard plank, side plank, elevated feet, single arm reach, single arm and leg reach)
2. Turkish Get Ups
3. Kettlebell Swings
4. Push Ups
5. Hip Bridges (on the floor or the ball)
6. Battling Ropes
7. Power Wheel
The last two exercises you’ll see in this awesome video. I did these two movements along with some squats and kettlebell presses and my core was super sore the next day….
[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRznoODhrkk[/pro-player]
Leave me a comment about what your favorite core exercise is!