Core fitness training can help you lose weight, gain strength, increase your flexibility, and prevent injury. A good core fitness training program is vital to your overall fitness success. Your core is responsible for generating most all of your body’s movements, and is extremely important to your overall physique and general health.
The core of your body includes the muscles of your stomach, lower back, pelvic floor, and hips. It’s where your center of gravity is located, and is essential to movement and stability. You use your core more than you’re probably aware of – when you’re exercising, walking, lifting things, and even when you’re just sitting at your computer or watching TV. In fact, core muscles are even utilized when you’re sleeping! They are literally the center of all your movement patterns and when these muscles are weak, you aren’t able to move as quickly, breathe as deeply, or lift as heavily. Having trouble picking up your kids? Weak core muscles may be the underlying cause.
Strengthening and regularly maintaining your core muscles will increase flexibility, keep your body firm and toned, and prevent pain – especially back pain, which many people experience with age or increased fitness. Core training helps translate your workouts into more functional exercises that positively affect other areas of your life, such as being able to move furniture without injury.
You probably already know and have completed many of the exercises used to train the core, but there are a multitude of new workouts that you can execute to keep your routines fresh and interesting. If properly done on a regular basis, these exercises will have excellent results on both your core and overall fitness! Some examples include:
- Sit ups or crunches
- Exercises completed on a balance ball
- Abdominal exercises, such as planking
- Push-ups and pull-ups
- Lunges, especially lunges that incorporate arm movements or weights
- Leg lifts
- Working with a medicine ball
Many of these exercises can be completed without equipment, and in the comfort of your own home. As always, you may want to consult a trainer in order to learn how to properly complete these exercises without injury!