Creating core strength - Emily Skye

Creating core strength

Creating core strength

Core strength is essential to living a healthy and safe lifestyle, especially if you are an active person! This is because your core is the basic foundation to all movement and strength within your body.

Despite what some people may believe, creating core strength isn’t just about having a flat stomach or building enviable abs. The abdominals are only part of your core. Though there are obvious desirable aesthetic reasons for working on these muscles, it is important that balance is created within your body. By focusing on having a strong stomach and neglecting your back you could be setting yourself up for injury.

Firstly, let’s have a look at what the core muscles incorporate:

  • Transversus abdominis
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Internal and external obliques
  • Erector spinae
  • Longissimus thoracis
  • Diaphragm
  • Pelvic floor
  • Multifidus - This one is actually the most powerful, running along the length of the spine which it works to stabilize.

There are also the minor core muscles that are also considered part of the core. They include:

  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Hip flexors
  • Gluteus maximus

In order to maintain a healthy, supple and strong core, all of these muscles need to be worked on to some degree. However the most important consideration is not to neglect your back muscles when working on your abdominals. An unbalance in this area can not only cause weakness in the back, it can also cause bad posture.

The most effective core workout exercises are ones that actually work several different muscles groups of the core at once. The plank, for example, is a fantastic total core toning exercise.

Here are a list of some other exercises that may target a specific area, but also work other areas of the core at the same time:

Exercises for the abdominals:

  • Wheel/ barbell roll out
  • Exercise ball crunch
  • Flutter kicks
  • Leg raises (single + double)
  • Medicine ball Russian twist
  • Weighted sit-ups

Exercises for your obliques:

  • Single arm overhead press
  • Side plank
  • T rotation
  • Hip ups
  • Bicycle crunch
  • Spider man press ups

Exercises for your lower back:

  • Weighted ball hyper extensions
  • Roman chair extensions
  • Superman
  • Crossover reverse lunge
  • Forearm to straight arm plank
  • Deadlifts

Exercises for your upper back:

  • Cobra back extensions
  • Bent over row
  • Lat pull downs
  • Pull ups
  • Push up position rows.
  • Reverse fly

Exercises for your hips and glutes:

  • Lunge
  • Squat + Lateral squat
  • Single leg hip-lift
  • Box jumps
  • Step ups
  • Kettlebell swing

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