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Core Strength Training

Core Strength TrainingThe body core consists of the bones of the spine and pelvis and all of the many connected muscles whose job it is to stabilize that core structure.

Core strength training involves exercises that are designed to increase the strength and flexibility of the muscles, tendons, and bones from the shoulders to the hips.

The Reasons

A strong core is capable of performing weight-bearing movements… easily moving a large amount of weight with significant speed and endurance.

Core strength training will also help you reduce the risk of injury. Strong core muscles act like shock absorbers during jumping and rebounding movements, and help alleviate unnecessary joint stress.

Strengthening the core muscles will improve your posture, keeping your back and hips properly aligned, and reduces the chances for back injury. Lower back pain can be decreased by doing some simple body core exercises.

Balance and stability can also be improved with core strength training as well.

A strong core promotes faster reaction times and improved coordination. You’ll find that you can be more agile, more flexible, and to perform everyday tasks with greater ease.

Lastly, a program of core strength training will help a person improve their athletic performance.

The Muscles

Thirty or more muscle groups can be identified in the body core from the shoulders to the hips.

The most popular muscle groups to target for exercise include the abdominals and obliques of the stomach, the glutes and muscles of the pelvis and sit bones, the erector muscles of the lower back, and the stabilizer muscles of the spine.

The Exercises

There are numerous popular and easy core exercises that can strengthen the body core.

For example, the bridging exercises strengthen the back and abdominal muscles. A prone bridge is performed by balancing on your toes and elbows while maintaining a straight back. A lateral bridge is performed on your side, raising up on the elbow and maintaining a straight line from shoulders to feet. A supine bridge is performed on your back by raising the hips off the floor.

Abdominal crunches can be performed while lying on the floor or while balancing on a large exercise ball. It is best to perform crunches with legs bent at the knees. The crunch is performed by tightening the abdominal muscles enough to raise the head and shoulders a few inches.

A useful variation of the crunch is to twist the upper body left or right while raising the shoulders.

An exercise ball can be used in many different ways to exercise your body core. Just sitting on it engages the core muscles. A more vigorous exercise can be performed by kneeling beside the ball with hands on the ball and then rolling forward, tightening the abdominal muscles and the back muscles.

Knee crunches can be performed on the exercise ball by lying stomach down on the ball and rolling forward with the hands walking outward, then backward.

There are numerous body core exercises that can be performed with hand weights, barbells, medicine balls, or weight machines. Lunges, leg presses and squats, lat pull downs, bench presses, and deadlifts are a few good examples.

Core strength training is recognized as a fundamental program for enhancing good health and athletic performance.

While you should consult a health care professional before beginning a program, a body core training program is simple and can be adapted to practically everyone.

Where to start?

Check out your local gym for exercises that are appropriate to you!

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