Core routine, oftentimes also referred to as core exercises, is an integral part of any workout or fitness program. This set of exercises builds up the strength of your core muscles which includes those in your abdomen, pelvis, hips and low back. One of the most common mistakes that people make is confusing core workouts with ab routines that help create a flat stomach and a 6 pack abs. The core is more than just great abs.
While the ab routine is an important part of the core routine, it is only part of the big picture. “Core” pertains to the whole package: the groups of muscles that serve as your body’s base, stabilizing your pelvis, shoulders as well as your spine.
There are many benefits of having a strong core including:
- better stability
- improved muscular control
- enhanced coordination
- better flexibility…
just to name a few.
Core routines also enhances your functional fitness, meaning fitness that you are able to use in your everyday life such as in walking, running, carrying or lifting objects, or maybe just sitting on a desk all-day long without straining your back.
Why you need a strong core
Energy transfers from the center of the body outwards, never originating from your extremities alone. So, before your limbs can create powerful moves, not to mention avoiding injury, the spine and other muscles surrounding your midsection must be stable enough to withstand the load. This can be achieved by employing the proper core exercises in your workout program.
Exercises With No Equipment Needed
What is great about core training is that you don’t necessarily need specialized equipment to do it. Abdominal or front planks are a classic example of a core exercise that don’t require using gym equipment or even weights. Another simple, easy-to-do example is push-ups. If done properly, the push-up strengthens arm, chest, back, torso and leg muscles.
When developing a solid core be sure to include exercises for your low back. Back exercises to include in your workout program include:
- back extension
- reverse hyper extensions
- good mornings…
Having a strong set of back muscles along with great abdominal strength can make lower back pain a thing of the past.
There are plenty of group activities you can take part in too. These may require a tiny bit of equipment but not much. Some activities that can be done socially while improving your core strength include:
Developing a strong core will enhance strength needed for activities outside of your regular workout regimen. You will have enhanced agility not only in running, but maybe in the distance that you can cover on a hike. You’ll not only prevent injury while lifting weights, but also when you move furniture around the house. You’ll even have better posture!
As with any other fitness routine, it is best to consult with a professional before embarking on your training, to maximize results and to avoid injury. Remember that different types of training are suited for different capabilities, so an advanced routine might not necessarily be the best for a novice.
Having a solid core routine is more than just having washboard abs. It is about having more strength to do everyday activities, and having more endurance for your favorite sports or just plain monkey-ing around with your kids.