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Is Core Training Really That Important?

Is Core Training Really That Important?

So many people are struggling with their physical health these days. If it is not constant lower back pain, it is an injury, a pulled muscle or even bad posture. These are all issues people are dealing with more and more in today’s day and age. This is partly as people do not look after their physical health. Somehow, somewhere along the lines, we have forgotten how to take care of our bodies and, more importantly, why we should take care of our bodies. Especially our core training.

Why Core Training Is Vital

One of the biggest issues and causes of injury and physical unhealthiness these days is a weak core. It is one of the most important parts of the body and it is crucial that it is kept strong. Unfortunately, it is the most neglected of all muscles in the body.

What Makes Up the Core?

The core consist of more than just your abdominal area. It is a series of complex muscles that all work together and play important role in the body’s everyday functioning. (Check out Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Personal Training Certification – one of the premier fitness courses on the market – which will give you an in-depth look at both anatomy and physiology. Click here for more information.)

These muscles include the:

  • Transversus abdominis,
  • Multifidus,
  • Internal and external obliques,
  • Rectus abdominis,
  • Erector spinae, and

The minor core muscles include the:

  • Latissimus dorsi,
  • Gluteus maximus, and
  • Trapezius.

The Core Acts As A Stabiliser In The Body

It is not a prime mover. This means that it is directly or indirectly involved in every single move we make from the simplest of tasks like standing up, sitting, walking and balancing to the more complex movements like deadlifts, running and swimming. Watch the video below for a detailed demonstration on how to perform deadlifts:

It Is Extremely Important To Keep Your Core Muscles Strong

This is because this section of your body affects your daily movements. Your core affects your:

  • Posture,
  • Balance,
  • Stability,
  • Overall physical health.

A Strong Core Also Prevents Injury

It is easy to get injured – whether on the sporting field or while performing a simple, everyday task like picking up a heavy box – if your core muscles are weak. If your core is weak, you will be more susceptible to injury. In addition to this, a strong core will keep your internal organs and central nervous system protected. It will improve your posture.

So, Is Core Training Really That Important?

Yes, most definitely! You should be exercising your core directly and indirectly through isolated and compound movements:

  • Isolated exercises work one muscle, while
  • Compound exercises work various muscles at the same time.

Although exercises like sit-ups and planks will help strengthen the core, compound moves like deadlifts and squats indirectly target and strengthen the core.

Exercises That Target Your Core

Personal trainer Alex Stewart recommends a number of exercises to tone up various parts of your core.

To tone up the rectus abdominis, Alex recommends the straight leg crunch as part of your core training. Here are the steps to do this properly:

  • Lie supine on the floor with your legs extended 90 degrees towards the ceiling.
  • Place your hands in a cupped position behind the nape of your neck.
  • Keep your elbows flexed and extended outwards.
  • Curl up as high as possible bringing the back and shoulders off the floor breaking at the sternum.
  • Hold the position for a second before lowering down to your starting position.
  • Perform how many reps necessary for the desired results.
  • To make the exercise more challenging, hold a weight plate on your chest.
  • Monitor your spine and head positioning.
  • Cue your abdominals.
  • Spot your mid-back or under your neck.
  • Keep your lower back firmly pressed against the mat

A fabulous exercise that targets your serratus is the cable crunch:

  • Kneel in front of a high pulley cable machine with a rope attached to the lower cable.
  • Hold the ropes and bring your hands down to the top of your head or shoulders where they will remain fixed throughout the exercise.
  • Your spine will be curved into a “C” shape.
  • Curl your torso down towards your knees.
  • Hold this position for a second before bringing your body back to your starting position.
  • Perform as many reps as necessary for the desired results.
  • Monitor your spine and head positioning.
  • Cue your abdominals.
  • Spot mid-back or under your back.
  • Control the rope as you return to your starting position.

It is extremely important to your physical health to keep your core strong by exercising it on a regular basis. A weak core can lead to so many physical health problems like bad posture and lower back pain. And you wouldn’t want to walk around with the consequences of that.