Many of us are well accustomed to the development of the glory muscles. Muscles like the chest, shoulders, quads and glutes will always get special attention in the gym – but how many people train for core strength correctly?
Yes, you see others doing simple exercises like leg raises and crunches to work their “abs,” but when we say core, we mean something different.
Think of the core as an entire muscular system that spans the entire surface of the stomach and back. The core is a system of muscles that starts at the hips and runs all the way up to the rib-cage supporting the body the entire way without fault.
With that said, many people have a very weak core which can lead to back pain, hip pain, and even pain in the upper back and neck.
Training your core is important for these main reasons:
1. Your core is your stability. Whenever you’re doing an exercise where a load is placed on your back, shoulders, or overhead, your core is the main muscular system that is providing stability.
- Think of it as the bridge between your upper and lower body. If the bridge is weak, the connection between the two (upper and lower body) will not be nearly as effective as it could be. Training your core is important for stability in your big overhead movements.
- A weak core means a weak squat and a weak overhead press. If you’re a strength athlete, this is something you need to look for.
2. Your core helps you run. Since the core links the upper and lower body together, it will act as a synergist in nearly every step. A strong core means a strong and efficient runner.
- The core strength will also help to absorb shock. When you’re running, your body is impacted with about 40 x your body-weight on each stride.
- If your goal is to run a long distance, you must have a strong core.
3. A strong core makes you look great. Last but not least, the core is important because a strong core looks great. Your core is very important to your overall well-being but training the core for strength and physique is also important.
Having a great core is more diet than training, but when both of these ideas meet in harmony, you’ll have a core that is built for strength and success in any setting.
Core Strength – A Crucial Element
Core strength is important for your balance, stability, body strength, weightlifting goals, and running goals. This core muscle system appeals in the aesthetics of training. Plus, it helps keep your back, neck, and hips pain-free.
This is one system that cannot go unnoticed in your training program.
For best results, be sure to try and hit your core for about 60 minutes of training each week. Dedicated ab sessions, rather than 5 minutes after each workout, also seems to show better strength returns.
The best time to pair core work is at the end of a leg training session. Pair your core strength training with all your leg workouts and watch as you grow stronger in the core and every aspect of fitness that comes with it.