Best Workout To Strengthen Core Stability?
The core muscles lie deep in the upper body. They are usually attached to the spine, pelvis and the muscles that support the shoulder blade. When the core muscles contract, they create a solid base of support for the body.
Without a solid core, your lifts will suffer and you will not perform to your full potential. Training the core muscles will also correct posture imbalances that can potentially injure an athlete. In this article, I will show you how you can strengthen your core muscles as well as the many benefits you will enjoy.
Training the core muscles is easy. Why? The core muscles are worked by many exercises, including any variation of the squat, deadlift, military press, bench press and many other common exercises. A strong core provides support for your spine so you walk, jog, run, lift and much more. A weak core will lead to bad posture, lower back pain and ultimately injury.
The Bench Press Works The Core Muscles.
The core muscles, such as the abdominals and back, aids in almost every exercise. However, there are exercises to isolate the core muscles and train them individually. Here are some of the best exercises to train and strengthen the core:
To do this exercise, first lie on your back with yours knees bent up. Do not arch your back; just keep it natural and relaxed. Contract your abdominal muscles and hold that contraction. While contracting that muscle, raise your hips off the floor. Hold that position for about five seconds and then gradually move on to about eight seconds as you begin to master this exercise.
Do not hold your breath as it is important that you breathe throughout the exercise. The bridge is a great exercise to strengthen many of the core muscles.
This exercise will really strengthen your abdominals as well as your oblique. To perform this exercise, lie flat on your back with your back neutral and relaxed. Contract the abdominal muscles and hold the contraction. Keep your hands and shoulders flat on the floor. Let your knees fall slowly to the left until you feel a nice stretch. They do not need to touch the floor.
If you feel pain, then you went too far down. After you feel that stretch, rotate your legs to the other side using your abdominals and oblique. Perform about 8-12 reps for this exercise to really strengthen your core muscles. As you get more experienced with this exercise, attach some ankle weights to your ankles and perform this exercise.
Almost everybody in America knows how to perform the crunch. However, proper form is essential for this exercise. If you can do a hundred or two hundred repetitions of the crunch, then you are not performing this exercise correctly.
To correctly perform this exercise, lie flat on your back. Keep your back neutral and put your hands behind the back of your head. Raise and bend your legs to a ninety degree angle. Using your abdominal muscles, touch your knees with your elbows. Do not use your arms to assist you in this exercise, strictly use only your abdominals.
At the top of the movement, hold the contraction for at least five seconds. When it comes to crunches, it is definitely quality reps over quantities reps.
The Plank is one of my favourite exercises. To perform this exercise, lie on your stomach. Raise yourself up so you are resting on your knees and forearms. Keep your back and head as straight and in line as possible.
A good way to think about it is to pretend that your back is a tabletop. Squeeze and contract your core muscles by pulling your elbows towards your knees. However, neither the elbows nor knees should move from their positions. Hold the position for approximately five seconds. As you get stronger at this exercise, move on to about eight seconds.
V Sit Up Hold
This is exercise is very effective at targeting the abdominals. Before you begin this exercise, it would be a good idea to first make sure that your form for the crunch is exceptional. It is a simple exercise to perform really.
First, lie flat on your back with back neutral. Fold your waist by lifting your legs off the ground while simultaneously extending your arms in the air to touch your toes. You should look like the letter V when viewed from your side. Hold this position as long as you can. This exercise should also improve your balance.
What Are The Benefits Of Strengthening Core Stability?
Before I discuss how a strong core can benefit you, I would first like to discuss how a weak core can hurt you. Weak core muscles can lead to numerous injuries, some more serious than others. The most common injury associated with weak core muscles tends to be lower back pain.
The most common reason for lower back pain is caused by having bad posture. Weak core muscles can also hurt you lifts in the gym because your body is not properly supported. If you are not stabilized during a lift, your form will start to slip and you will injure yourself.
For all you visual people out there, pretend that your spine is a stack of empty soda cans, each one stacked on top of the other. If you do not have strong core muscles, your spine (soda cans) will be wrapped in scotch tape. Now if you have strengthened your core muscles, that scotch tape will become tighter and more tensed, sort of like the bandages athletes use to wrap injured ankles. A strong core will increase the support in your spine by helping it handle the forces of rotation and compression that lead to back injuries.
Most people do not know this, but a strong core will promote healthy normal bowel movements. How? Well, the pelvis muscles are part of the core. Therefore, a strong and healthy core will lead to a strong and healthy pelvis. For those who don't already know, the pelvis muscles eliminate waste from our body by contractions. If you have a weak core, your pelvis may not contract properly.
Your core muscles also play a great part in your sports performance. Take for instance baseball. When a batter swings the bat, the power behind his swing starts from the legs. The power than transfer up through his abdominals/back (The core muscles) and to his arms for the swing. Now think of how his swing would be affected if he had a weak core. The power from his legs would not have transferred to his arms and his swing would have been weaker.
Who Would Be Interested In Strengthening Their Core Stability?
So who would benefit from core stability and core strength? Well, athletes from tennis to bodybuilders and power lifters to baseball players will benefit tremendously from core training. Besides athletes, just about every single person on Earth can benefit from core training.
Just About Every Single Person On Earth Can Benefit From Core Training.
Everyday activities such as walking, jogging, and running require strength from the core muscles. Training the core may even make your stomach look flatter. That "ponch" will shrink if you strengthen your back muscles so you stand up straight. There are so many benefits of a strong core. If you train the core, you will not be disappointed.
Have You Ever Used This Type Of Workout Before? If So, How Were The Results?
Yes, I do core training every four days. My major lifts such as squat, deadlift, and the bench press went up a couple pounds when I began core training. However, the important thing is that my lifts all feel stable and safe. My form is very close to perfect and it is thanks to a strong core.
I believe it is very important to train the core muscles for all the reasons I mentioned above but specially to be well balanced. The abdominals are just like any other muscle so I train them like so. I cannot stress the importance of being well balanced.
Severe injuries can and will occur if one muscle group is stronger than its opposing muscle. A common example of this is the quadriceps and the hamstrings. If you have super strong quadriceps and weak hamstrings, you will pull a muscle. In this case, it would be the lower back and the opposing muscle group, the abdominal muscles. Remember, you are only as strong as your weakest link.
Bottom line: Train you core
With special thanks to Will of Bodybuilding.com