The core has become a fitness slang word. 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!
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.
Core Strength Training For Reducing Back Problems & Injuries
Weak or poorly controlled core muscles have been associated with low back pain (3,4). The back muscles are responsible for movements such as extension and flexion of the spine and rotation of the trunk.
Excessive or uneven shock on the spine may lead to back problems. This may be exaggerated because weak core muscles lead to improper positioning or a forward tilt. In many exercises that use the back muscles, the abdominal muscles contract isometrically stabilizing the body.
The stronger and more correctly balanced the core muscles are, the less the uneven strain on the spine.
Core Strength Training To Get a Six Pack
If you want a six pack, then yes, core strength exercises should predominate in your routine. Not because they blast your ab muscles, they don’t. But they will help you to reduce your body fat stores and increase the muscularity of your rectus abdominus and they will give you the most returns for your efforts.
You will still need to focus on your diet and it won’t do any harm adding a few ab-specific exercises like crunches and leg raises within your sessions.
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