Saturday, February 25, 2012

Core Strengthening

This week’s workout: Core Strengthening

This workout is great for anyone who needs to strengthen their core.  Who needs that?  Everyone does! 

Everyone has a different opinion on how you should work your abs. 

Should it be weighted?  Should you do it daily?  Should you train your obliques?

First, abs and core are different to me.  I know I might see things differently than most, but they are not the same.  When I think of core I think of being able to stabilize your body properly.  It takes more than your abs to be able to maintain your body weight.  It takes proper shoulder alignment and glute strength.  As well as the most important and often overlooked core muscle there is.....your diaphragm.  Without proper breathing through and from your diaphragm you can plan on that core movement working your lower back and traps through your improper chest breathing and incorrect shoulder alignment.  

Improper breathing techniques make it so that your body does not receive the appropriate amount of oxygen it requires daily.  This oxygen has multiple functions outside of making your workouts better.  Look down at yourself standing or sitting.  Is your stomach moving?  Are you breathing through your chest and shoulders and being restricted or are you using the most important core muscle of all, your diaphragm.

Do I think you should work your abs?  No, I think you should work your core.  I think you should work your whole body and learn how to stabilize with the right muscles like your center and your hips instead of your lower back and traps.  

Lay on your back and take a deep breath in through your nose and release it through your mouth.  Breathe through your diaphragm and not your chest.  When you work to strengthen your core remember your posture is paramount and fire those glutes.  Keep them engaged the entire time.  They are your security from using your back.

Lastly, if your doing crunches, leg lifts, reverse crunches, hanging knee raises or any ab exercise and your feeling your lower back......
stop!  Your're not doing it correctly, but even more important your body might not be set up yet to do these moves.  Work on your alignment and flexibility first and then work your way into these exercises.

Remember to foam roll and stretch daily. 


Add these exercises to your routine to strengthen your core!

1 Plank Walk ups

2 Plank 3:00, 12:00 taps 

3 Plank leg up and outs 

Reverse crunch 

Side plank with curl unders 

6 Hand plank torso rotation

7 Hand plank arm outs

8 Hand plank single leg raise

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