Core training. What do we even mean by this? Some of us think core training and instantly think of ab crunches and sit-ups. However, there is far more to it than that.
A well-trained core does not necessarily correlate to a six pack, and is more than being just about the abdominals. The core includes the stabilising muscles of the body – the trunk and pelvis, abdominals and lower lats – teaching them to work together to stabilise the body. This is imperative for most everyday movements we do, whether in exercise or when playing sport, or for daily activities. It’s called the core for a reason – it’s the centre of your body and helps everything else to work in harmony.
Not got a well-trained core? This will certainly limit your strength capacity, so read on for ways to train your core effectively.
Get an unstable environment
Placing your body on an unstable surface trains the core to work harder to keep you balanced. The result is strengthened, more responsive muscles, and better ability to improve overall strength. Get a stability ball, BOSU Balance Trainer or wobble board and check out heaps of ways online to train that core.
Why not try the following? Kneel on the floor with elbows and arms on a stability ball. Actively engaging your core, slowly transfer your weight to your hands and extend your arms. Go so far that you feel the core engagement and then return to the start position. To advance this, increase the range of motion, slow the exercise down and hold for longer at the extension phase. Simple but it works. Just make sure exercises are safe before commencing!
Roll it out
Cheap, but effective, an ab wheel is a great little fitness tool that can work wonders. Performing a similar move to the example above with the stability ball, it requires you to utilise those core muscles to the max, helping to get them working much harder. You can progress from starting on your knees to performing the move on your toes, which is a real test of core strength. Why not challenge yourself?
Get an all-in-one trainer
If you want to really strengthen that core and the entire body, a fitness machine such as the TuffStuff SPT-6B Base Six-Pak Trainer is a fantastic option, and will look spectacular in any home gym. A fantastic base for your exercises, it brings everything together, allowing you to easily incorporate balance boards, stability balls or a fitness bench to maximise training. This machine includes a 150lb weight stack, 3 cable heights and an open frame, offering maximum support for serious training for the core and the whole body.
Introduce these exercises to your regular fitness regime and you will see the impact it has on your general strength, balance and stability.
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