The development of core strength is becoming increasingly popular in the fitness world. But what exactly does core strength mean? And how can you accomplish strength and stability in a healthy and functional way while minimizing injury?
Here are some tips about static and dynamic core strengthening along with exercises to keep your core strong while leaving the rest of your body feeling healthy.
To make sure that you are getting the benefits of a core workout, you must ensure that you include all of the muscles in your core area. The core consists of a group of muscles that act on the spine and pelvis; it is more than just the abdominals. Specific muscle groups are paired with muscle actions of the hip including both flexors and extensors. When stability, range of motion, and/or balance becomes overlooked, this may lead to poor joint mechanics, inefficient movement, and an increased risk of injury.
Believe it or not, the most common exercises like sit-ups or crunches, are actually the least productive core workout of all, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Traditionally, core workouts have been based around isolation exercises like crunches, back extensions, and planks. These are basic exercises and only focus on singular plane motions.
Developing more static strength is a long shot from what the body really needs. Concentrating on exercises that develop specific muscles in a dynamic manner is ideal. This applies to not only the abdominals, but also the lumbar paraspinal muscles, gluteals, hip flexors and hamstrings. When this is done right, through a full range of motion, you develop greater physical strength and at the same time develop stability, power and minimize injury. As you perform dynamic exercises, you will automatically develop greater static strength of the muscles when they act as isometric stabilizers
It’s all about control when it comes to dynamic core strength training. When you perform core exercises practice proper form to prevent injury. Do each exercise slowly while focusing on specific, controlled motion. Ensure you monitor your breathing, inhaling and exhaling throughout each exercise, that way your muscles can receive the oxygen they need for growth and development.
This is why an exercise like the plank is a good starting position to teach people abdominal stability. Although, the plank will quickly become too easy and we’ll need to find new and more challenging ways to stabilize the the core area. Needless to say, weak core muscles can make routine activities difficult — and eventually make to bad posture, backaches and even injury.
Here are some exercises on how to strengthen your core that target deeper muscles from a variety of angles.
Single Leg Kick
Start by lying on floor and holding head, neck, and top of back off the floor. Keeping both legs straight, lift one up toward the ceiling while keeping one hovered above the floor. Next slowly pull behind the leg that is pointed up toward the ceiling, then switch back to the other leg. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor and keep your abs contracted.
Glute Bridge with Marching
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slightly brace your abs and lift your hips off the ground. Squeeze your butt to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Without moving your body, lift one foot off the ground. Return it to the ground and switch legs. Alternate sides for 60 seconds and repeat for three sets.
Attach a rope or handle to a low-pulley cable ( a thera band could be a substitute here) and grab the handle with both hands. Stand with your right side toward the weight stack. Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower yourself into a partial squat. Keeping your feet pointed forwards and straight with your arms straight, stand up as you rotate your shoulders to the left till your hands reach about nose level. Pause for a count of 2, then slowly go back to the squat position.
Medicine-Ball Rotation Pass
Stand with your right side toward a wall or a workout partner about 10 feet away from you. Hold a light medicine ball in front of your chest. Rotate your shoulders to the right as you toss the ball to your partner. Rotate your left foot to the right, keeping your right foot pointed forward.
Workouts such as Yoga and Pilates are gaining more popularity with proof to be excellent exercises to build core endurance.
Exercise should be adapted to each person’s fitness level. Yoga and Pilates are great workouts as they combine whole body movements in different areas of the body. Resistance training is excellent for spine loading and the development of strength. A mix routine including dynamic movements, asymmetric loading, and diverse compound exercises in different planes is excellent for enhancing proprioceptive feedback and improving human kinetics.