For most of the general population, when they hear core they think "abs".
But the secret is...
A trim waistline is about so much more than just your abs.
When we think of core training, we immediately start imagining a fit celebrity showing off their six-pack while on a jog down the beach or in an epic movie scene.
Let's go deeper.
First have to understand – what is your “core” anyway?
Generally, when we talk about core we’re referring to three areas: surface and deeper abdominal muscles, as well as your lower back.
More specifically, and most commonly:
Abdominus, Rectus and Transversus
Obliques, internal and external
As well as a few other supportive muscles, that we won’t be covering in this scope of this article.
It’s about muscle balance.
Many people only focus on the muscles they can see or hope to see, but are maybe hiding under some excess body fat. And that’s great, but they end up forgetting about function and muscle balance, which can lead to injury.
You should always train your muscles in complement of each other, that is, balance the push and the pull. When it comes to your core, this means not just training your abs but spending time to strengthen your lower back too.
How to maximize your core workout
To get the most from your core exercises, be mindful about your movement. Don’t just go through the actions, think about it!
Train your brain to work on both directions of movement (if training dynamically) meaning, squeeze on the way up from a crunch and on the way down.
Training in both directions is a more efficient and effective way of training. You’re doubling your work with the same amount of reps!
Quality versus quantity, always.
This is why Pilates core training is so effective, because it is based on this principle.
[Psst - Smart tip! In the On Demand class library, there is a great Intro to Pilates session that walks you through these basics! On Demand classes are included for all members of Team Fit Body]
So how do you do quality core exercises?
Always be mindful to engage your core in 4 ways:
1. Belly button pulled in to your spine, and spine to bellybutton. 2. Keep a natural curve in your back, to maintain alignment. 3. Rib cage knitted together 4. Engage your pelvic floor
And bonus, you can even work your core when you’re not doing ab or low back exercises!
Your core is your powerhouse at the centre of the body. It is responsible for stabilizing and supporting other exercises and all your functional movement. Meaning, think about the 4 ways to engage not just when you’re doing crunches, but when doing squats, push-ups, cardio or yoga, or any type of movement!
When you do this, you’ll be reducing your chance of injuries, and getting more out of what you’re doing – it’s a win, win!
Is that it? Sounds simple!
But don’t forget...
A healthy weight and body composition is managed by both exercise and nutrition. Many would say your abs are made in the kitchen!
Weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.
Remember, what you eat is private, you wear in public. It is one thing to commit a few hours a week to exercise but commitment to healthy eating is a full-time effort.
Real results need 100% real commitment.
And it is possible to do this through real food, without starving or depriving yourself. It’s about making smarter choices.
Many of my clients were awesome and pushing themselves hard during the workout itself, but would struggle when it came to eating right. When we also started focusing on healthy eating and making smarter choices between workouts, that’s when the weight started to drop.
I created Team Fit Body to help my clients stay focused the other 23 hours of the day between workouts. I would love to help you stay focused and motivated so you can reveal your best version of you.
If you are looking to live a healthier and happier life, then I would love to help.
First step? Consider subscribing to the newsletter for more helpful tips and motivation, and get your code for your first live online class free!
Please feel free to reach out either via DM on social media or via email, I'm looking forward to supporting your journey.