There's a lot of misconception about what the "core" is - and how to train it best. If you're a little shocked or confused about the picture at the beginning of this blog post, I completely understand. If you're not a fitness professional, or if you've watched too many useless fitness infomercials, you probably think "ab crunches" are the gold standard. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Yes, the rectus abdominis (6 pack) is an important core muscle, but there are way better ways to strengthen it, that are much better for the long term health of your spine. Yes, it's true...crunches will kill your lower back! And not to mention aren’t very functional, because they isolate one set of core muscles. The core just simply doesn't function in isolation in real life.
So...essentially the core is everything from the chest to the knees. Including, but not limited to the: stomach, lower back, shoulder girdle, glutes and hip flexors.
The picture below sums it up pretty well. But the main thing you should know is that: "the best way to train these muscles is in coordination - and not in isolation!"
So, now that you know what the core is and generally how to train it properly, here are a few exercises I use with my clients at Thunder to address all facets of core strength:
#1 Prone Shoulder Touches
#2 Single Leg Bridge
#3 Band Rotations
So now that you've seen the videos, try a few of these exercises out. And if you want a print out for your home or office, you can have that too! Just click this link, "FREE Core Exercise Worksheet", fill out the form, and I'll email that over to you right away.
And if you're interested in learning more about my program and Thunder, don't hesitate to call or email me anytime.
Brian Reynolds M.S., CSCS
Owner | Thunder Sports & Fitness LLC