When it comes to the core, there are three things people want to know; How to target the core, The benefits of a strong core, and Core exercises they can do both at home and the gym. Although deep within the abdominals and back the core is not complex and strengthening it is fairly simple as long as you’re willing to put in the work. Here we will take look at targeting the core, the benefits of strengthening the core and also a few exercises.
Targeting the Core
The best way to target the core is a combination of both static core strengthening exercises and dynamic exercises. Static exercises are an effective way to target the core because they focus on the endurance of the muscles. Since there isn’t a concentric or eccentric phase of a static exercise, muscles are left under tension for an extended time which results in an increase in strength as well as stability. Dynamic exercises, on the other hand, focus more on muscle development.
Benefits of a Strong Core
The benefits of a strong core are endless. For starters, it will prevent injury whether it is exercise related or not. A strong core supports the entire body, especially your back which means no more back pain. Other benefits include improved balance, stability, better posture and an increase in power output during training.
Following are some exercises that you can do both at the gym and in your own home
The plank is a static exercise that anyone can do. It is such an effective core exercise because planks are challenging and leave room for progress. To do a traditional plank;
- begin on all fours with your wrists positioned directly underneath the shoulders.
- Then engage the core as you extend both legs back (as if you were doing push-ups) and hold for at least 30 seconds.
- There are also plank variations like the side plank that throws in an additional challenge.
Stomach vacuums target the area of the core that supports the spine during movement. All you have to do is;
- inhale and allow the chest to expand as you bring the stomach in as much as possible and hold.
- This can be done standing, kneeling on all fours or seated.
Ab Roll Outs
Whether done with an ab roller or barbell, rollouts will challenge your core in the best way possible. To do them right;
- kneel down with the barbell or roller positioned in front of you.
- Grasp the barbell or roller and roll forward as you keep your midsection tight and back straight.
- Once the arms are straight, roll back to return to the starting position.
As mentioned previously the benefits of a strong core are endless if you are willing to put in the work; hopefully you will begin to feel some of those benefits soon.