Strength & Fitness

Why you NEED core strength?

Why You Need Core Strength

When you think about core strength, what do you immediately think of?
Most common answer: abs, having a six-pack (not beer).

Thinking about a person with a strong core might produce an image in your head of a model using some crazy contraption on an infomercial, claiming it will give you a six-pack in 2 weeks for only 7 payments of $43. What a deal!
While that model might have a strong core, perception is not always reality.
The way one’s core looks is not always suggestive of their core strength.

Your core includes everything that is not an appendage or limb. It is a necessary component of EVERY movement the human body does.
That is why it is important to know effectively how to use one's core to produce stability and assist with the movement of force from one extremity to the other.
For example, throwing a ball begins with the core and ends at an extremity, while being utilized or active the entire time. Picking your child, same idea...brace as you lower, maintain while you lift and hold.

Which means the core's most fundamental function is stability.
A great definition for core stability can be stated as “the ability to not change shape even when under stress from intensity and/or load.”

It serves as a bridge between the upper and lower extremities during exercises like squatting, deadlifting, or push press.
Having a stronger core can lead to a lower risk of injury in the gym or in sport.
Outside of the gym, it is used to protect the spine and surrounding musculature, something crucial as we age.

When working on your core, you should start with static holds, such as front and side planks or hollow body holds. If the belly begins to sag to the floor during static planks for example, this can be an indication of a potentially weak core or, at least, poor positioning.

We begin with static holds because these directly correlate to proper bracing and breathing during nearly all of our class movements.
You can make movements more challenging by increasing the time domain, adding load, or enhancing intensity.
You should first master the static core movements and proper bracing before moving on to the dynamic movements with bigger weights. 

You must also pay attention to your glutes, back, hips, and deep abdominals. Not only is proper alignment of these areas necessary, but they also pick up the slack for a weaker core. This can lead to overuse injuries, tendinitis, sore lower back, etc.

By enhancing your core strength, you will move better. Moving better will then allow you to lift more, move faster, all for a longer period of time. 

Below is a sample core workout that could be beneficial. 

Day 1:
Bird Dogs - 3x10 each side
Hollow Body Hold - 3x45-60s
Supermans - 3x15-20

Day 2:
Weighted Plank - 3x60s
Single-Leg Glute Bridge - 3x10 each leg
Deadbugs - 3x10

Day 3:
Side Plank - 3x45s
Reverse Plank - 3x45 to 60s
Weighted Good Mornings - 3x10-15

Remember, working on your core does nothing to target the unwanted belly fat in that area. Uncovering your stronger core is done in the kitchen!

Now, more than ever is a great time to work on developing better core strength. If you have questions, please let any of the coaches know!

- Coach Matt

Matt Kaitchuck

Coach/OnBoarding Specialist