What is one of the most undertrained areas of your body? If you guessed your core, then you’re 100% right. When you think of core training, you probably immediately think of abs. Everyone wants a 6 pack, but it’s about so much more. Let’s go into more detail about core strength, stability, mobility, and purposeful core training.
Hopefully after this blog you understand how important your core training really is. Imagine that your core is the sun and the rest of your body is all the other planets. Basically everything revolves around your core.
A strong core has significant benefits including injury prevention (spinal injuries), improved balance, improved power development, an increase in athletic performance, and less pain/stiffness throughout the day.
Why is core training so important?
Just from a health and wellness standpoint aside from the aforementioned benefits, good core training reduces your chances of developing a back injury, can decrease pain if you already have a bad back, and improves functional movement.
The back injury market is a multi-billion dollar industry mostly from back surgeries. What if we could reduce this significantly by just doing good core training?
Why do back injuries occur?
Three reasons: (1) Poor lifting form; (2) No core training; (3) Doing “core” exercises that are actually bad and can cause a back injury.
“Core” Exercises to AVOID
When it comes to any exercise, we as personal trainers or any sort of fitness specialist have to ask the question, “why”? Why are we here and why are we doing certain exercises? The reasons why will then lead us to the “what” – what we are doing because of the why question.
The following exercises are exercises that you should avoid and I’ll explain why. Russian twists, crunches, side crunches, sit ups, and Dumbbell side bends are just a few. All of them are outdated exercises that we have been doing far too long. All of these exercises can actually be potentially harmful to your spine.
According to recent research, spinal flexion is the leading cause in spinal disk herniation. Guess what you’re doing in almost all of the exercises I mentioned. Yep, spinal flexion. Spinal flexion is the leading cause because, today, Americans spend most of their time sitting down with poor posture. The result of this is weakened core muscles, poor spinal posture, and subsequent damage done to the spine.
Better Core Exercises
Cable pushes, plank, and side plank are much better core exercises because they don’t involve flexion of the spine. They strengthen the core and activate more than just the rectus abdominis (the six pack) muscles. Your core is actually comprised of many muscles that cross and layer each other. Another good alternative to train your core would be yoga and pilates.
If you need help!
If you need help, please come find me. I’m more than happy to help you anyway I can. If you want a fitness evaluation I can also help you with that as well. Please feel free to call, text, or email me with questions. I hope you find this information valuable.
Happy training everyone!Set up a Free Fitness Consultation
Matthew has a B.S. in Sports and Exercise Science from Wisconsin Lutheran College, is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). He specializes in Sports Performance, Strength and Conditioning, Injury Prevention, Health and Wellness, & Functional Training. Matthew lives by the philosophy of “Anything worth having is worth fighting for” – Susan Phillips and he believes that if you want something, then go get it, and don’t stop till you do.