Your core is a complex area of multiple muscle groups that controls some of the most important movements in our bodies. Contrary to what many people think, your Core is not just your ab muscles.
And Core workouts are not just movements solely designed to work the front of your lower torso. Sit Ups and Crunches are all great to do, but they do not work out your core muscles as much as you might think.
It's important to understand what makes up your core and what are the best practices to train it. Your Core encompasses your pelvis, your lower back, much of your central nervous system, as well as containing many of your body’s major internal organs. Daily functional movement, breathing, and walking are all facilitated by your core, so keeping it strong and healthy should be paramount among your fitness goals.
Believe it or not, but some studies have shown that core exercises actually link up to the part of the specific part of the brain that coordinates body movement, spatial awareness, and balance. So working out your core muscles becomes not just physical exercise, but mental exercise as well.
A strong core also prevents injury, improves posture, and aids in maintaining stability. Whether you’re skiing, surfing, or boxing, a stronger core will improve your performance and power when you engage in sports that demand balance and coordination.
And the best thing about Core exercises is that they can be done almost anywhere you have a comfortable area of flat ground and maybe a yoga mat. No complex machines are necessary to perform an Elbow Plank- you just need time and dedication.
Some great movements that will challenge your core are Weighted Russian Twists and Hollow Body Rocks. Most beginners find these exercises quite difficult to perform at first, so take it easy until you’ve got the movement right. You should be working out your core 2-3 times per week for optimum results.
Joel Runyon is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® - performance lifestyle brand encompassing performance apparel & formulas, IMPOSSIBLE Fitness® programs, and a philanthropy arm. An endurance athlete and entrepreneur - he's also the creator of MoveWellApp and owns Ultimate Meal Plans. Find out what next challenge Joel is crossing off his impossible list here.