Core training is a term used frequently by personal trainers and the media. But what exactly is it, what does it involve and should you be doing it too? The short answer is yes and this is why.
Core Muscle Training Explained
Your core is like the foundations of a house – the stronger the foundations, the stronger the house. Your core is made up of the deep muscles that support and stabilise your torso and lower back and a weak core often leads to a weak body. For many people the lower back pain they experience is not back pain at all but referred pain from a weak and unstable core. Specifically training your core will help strengthen your lower back, protect you from injury and help correct any imbalances you may have.
Core muscle training targets the deep muscles of your torso, the transverse abdominis in particular. This is a big sheet-like muscle that wraps from one side of the spine, around the front of your body and attaches to the other side. Other muscles that are also targeting with core training include the multifidus (which stabilises your spine); erector spinae (which makes moving and rotating your back possible); quadratus lumborum (supports and stabilises your lower back); latissiumus dorsi (power muscles running up the side of your spine); rectus abdominis; and your obliques.
Who Should Train Their Core?
Ideally everyone should add some core training to their regular exercise routine to ensure that core strength and stability is maintained. The good news is that core training can be achieved in a variety of ways so there is sure to be an option for everyone.
For those who enjoy working out in the gym, core training can be incorporated into your routine with body weight, Swiss Ball or medicine ball exercises. If you prefer something different and ‘easier’ Pilates in particular is an excellent way to build and maintain core strength and stability as is regular yoga practise.
Core stability training should be included in every workout, even if you only use one or two exercises. Having a strong core and lower can make all the difference to your daily and recreational activities. If you are not already training your core, now’s the time to add some core exercise to your regular workout routine. Chat to one of our awesome trainers at your local club for some tips and specific exercises related to strengthening your core.
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