This week we’re looking at a subject which you may have heard of before – core strength.
Most people have heard how important core strength is – through the media / sports teams / local fitness guru; however it can often be a confusing topic to get to the bottom of.
Because of this, we’ve put together the Three Core Commandments:
1 – STABILITY:
The “Core” of your body is actually made up of a variety of muscles located within your abdomen – from the surface “Six-Pack” muscles right in to the tissues surrounding your spine.
These internal muscles are actually the most important and perform the most vital role of your core – to protect your spinal cord and all of the sensitive nerve endings running throughout your body.
The first type of training you should do for your core is Stability Training. Training your core muscles to contract isometrically – ie. to stay strong in a fixed position for a period of time.
Exercises to accomplish this are: The Plank, The L-Sit & The Hollow Body Hold.
Video Instructions below:
2 – STABILITY IN MOTION:
The second function of your “core” is to create a stable foundation on which the rest of your body can move from.
Having a strong core which can contract through your range of motion will allow you to create greater torque when sprinting, transfer more power to your arms and legs when jumping, squatting, punching etc.
You can have the strongest legs in the world, but if your core is weak you’ll crumble under the barbell like a soggy hobnob.
Three exercises to strengthen your core in motion are: The Roll Out, The Leg Raise & The Rip60 Pike/Crunch.
Videos linked below:
3 – CONSTANT TENSION:
The next “Core Commandment” is related to everyday life as well as training.
Simply put, it is to keep constant tension in your core muscles as often as possible whether you are in the gym deadlifting 80% of your maximum, or going for a stroll in the park.
The only difference in tension between these scenarios is the degree to which you active your core.
Your core muscles are made up of a variety of different muscle fibres, some fast twitch “explosive” and some slow twitch “endurance”.
When walking in the park or doing everyday activities, you should aim to have your core engaged to about 20% of its capacity – this will use the slow twitch “endurance” fibres.
This ensures good posture, protection of your lower back and also ensures that your core does not become “inactive” which can happen with lack of use and causes your lower back to compensate.
When taking part in strenuous activities, your core should be firing up to 80% capacity and beyond – eg. Jogging 70%, Sprinting 85%, Heavy Deadlift 95%.
There are no special exercises for this other than using your mind to activate the core when doing these tasks.
If you progress through the exercises listed above as well as try to maintain constant tension as much as possible, we guarantee you’ll build a bulletproof core to be proud of.
Achieving the “Six-Pack” you’re looking for then comes down to dropping weight to reveal your core muscles, which we can help you with too 😉
All Pure Fitness Memberships come with personalised training plans included – just talk to your trainer about the correct core plan for your unique needs and they’ll be happy help you out!