If you’re new to fitness training or just trying to get back in shape; you might be wondering how important is it to strengthen your core in transforming your health? It’s often mysterious; with knowledge about it sometimes only circulated within professional athletes and online bodybuilding forums. But before you target this part of your body in a workout you need to know what it is and the function it plays in the human anatomy.
What is The Core?
The core is deemed as anything that is not your limbs, such as arms and legs. The core is where the human body generates balance and power in order to carry out a movement. The means that your glutes, hips, pelvic scapula and abdominal muscles make up the core of your body; which makes it the central structure of the body where the majority of your weight is centralized. And while the abdominal muscles do play a key role, training the core is much more complex than just focusing on getting a 6-pack.
How The Core Functions
As fighter jet pilots push their aircraft to the limit, the high-gs cause the vision of the pilot to fade, darken and eventually black out. Professional combat pilots rely on staying conscious while they perform combat maneuvers, and so their core must be extremely strong. Core-conditioning consists of sharp inward contractions to brace the inner abdominal muscles, lumbar spine, glutes, and to a lesser extent the thighs. Pilots do this, to keep the blood in their lower and upper body, properly circulating and resist pooling in their legs as this causes the brain to stop receiving a fresh oxygen supply. This is essentially why other athletes train their core so that the central strength of the body gives the rest of the body a strong platform.
Abdominal Vacuum Pressure
Working on your core is not recommended if you’re overweight. Tummy vacuums condition your transverse abdominals (TVA)which are known as the innermost, deepest layer of ab muscles. If you’ve lived a dormant lifestyle, your TVA may not be functioning at all; so getting a response is going to take persistence on your part. To perform this exercise; get on all fours, arch your back upward, and with a deep breath in, then out, as you exhale suck your stomach inward as hard as possible while your upper body maintains relaxed. Try to imagine it by pulling your bellybutton in toward your spine. Do this repeatedly while holding each contraction for 15 seconds at least 5 to 8 times each set.
Bent Leg Shrugs
This can be done with a barbell, but it’s best to use to the kettlebell. Bend your legs slightly, and while your arm is holding the weight, shrug your shoulders without bending your arms. At the same time, suck in your stomach with each rep. This will contract your abs and work deeper and deeper into the inner layers with each shrug.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.