Core Strength: Your Ultimate Guide To Core Training

Any fitness routine must include core strength exercises to be complete. This is true whether you’re a man or a woman. While most of us tend to focus mainly on the sexy six pack, strengthening your core does so much more than just make you look good, it can affect the condition of your whole body.

 

Stop complicating core stabilization with endless crunches and leg lifts. Start using basic lifts that build the foundation of strength and core training!

The core has become a fitness buzzword. People seem to think core training is synonymous with abdominal training, which explains why various websites, blogs, infomercials, and trainers use the phrase to attract misinformed readers desperate for a six-pack. In truth, the core is much more than a six-pack, and it needs to be treated as such.

It’s time to destroy misconceptions about core training and restore its true meaning. Endless sets of sit-ups and leg raises will only take your core so far. Eventually, your core will need to support heavy weight under serious stress when you squat, deadlift, or press.

Kick the crunches aside and learn heavy lessons that build insane core strength!

CORE PRINCIPLES

The core is a collection of muscles which stabilize and move the spine. Close to the spine and deep inside the abdomen is the inner core, which is comprised of the diaphragm, pelvic floor, multifidi, deep cervical flexors, and transverse abdominus. These strange-sounding muscles engage first during movement or breathing to protect the spine.

The outer core muscles are also responsible for stabilizing and protecting the spine, but they also have more defined movement functions. The anterior muscles (abdominals) are the most well-known members of the outer-core assembly. The lats, spinal erectors, glute complex, quadratus lumborum, and hip flexors are also outer-core muscles.

If you want to get academic, you could make an argument that the core extends far beyond these muscles localized to the spine and hip complex. But for our current scope, the muscles I just mentioned nicely define the core.

SIMPLIFIED CORE STRENGTH

Purposeful core action requires understanding its function. The core stabilizes and protects the spine by creating stiffness that limits excessive movement in any direction—most notably extension, flexion, lateral flexion, and rotation. In lifting terms, the core’s responsibility is to limit movement.

Think about the core through the scope of strength exercises like the squat, deadlift, bench press, and overhead press. These movements require the spine to hold a rigid position so the hip and shoulder joints can move with force. The core muscles create the rigid spine position.

To make the core stronger, you only need to let it do its job and protect the spine when you put heavy loads in your hands or on your shoulders.

From this perspective, every exercise is a core exercise. Complete an exercise with good form and you trained the core to do its job. Consistently increase the load of an exercise using good form and you make the core stronger.

REAL CORE TRAINING

Standing exercises demand the most from your core musculature. If you’re seated or lying down, your body uses whichever surface you recline on to create stability and the core gets lazy.

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