Your core consists of your upper abs, your side muscles (obliques) and a very deep layer of muscles within the abdominals.
It’s important to strengthen your stomach and obliques at least 2 to 3 times per week.
This is because the stomach and obliques support your spine by taking some of the burden off of your bones, and also dramatically enhance your balancing ability.
Core training will make every other athletic and daily movement easier and also improve your overall performance in any sport.
Because the core muscles are connected to your legs, they affect they way you function (sit, squat, jump, stand, etc.)
You can’t just strengthen your stomach and obliques, you must strengthen the opposing muscle to the stomach as well – THE BACK AND GLUTES.
It’s important to make sure you don’t strengthen your stomach more than your back, because you’ll risk getting back pain and spasms.
It’s always important to have equal amounts of strength in opposing muscles (the stomach and back), otherwise one side of the body does all of the work, which throws off the body’s mechanics, resulting in pain and possibly injury.
The stomach, obliques, back and glutes all work together to support your spine. When all of these areas are strong, you’ll dramatically decrease the chances of throwing out your back and losing your balance, which most often results in a trip and fall and thus, an injury.
The difference between abdominal and core training is that core workouts also target the BACK SIDE of the body.
When you condition your stomach and obliques in conjunction with your back and glutes, then you are getting a great core workout.
The core is at the center of the body and acts kind of like the body’s hub. Because power transfers through the core with almost any movement, you’ll instantly notice that with a strong core, everything else will become easier.
Great core exercises include stability ball exercises, squats on a Bosu, Pilates and yoga.
Free weight exercises in a standing position are also a great way to engage your core. Try to get “core involvement” in almost every exercise you do and you’ll be in good shape!
Yoga Accessories is a great place to get your yoga gear!
iTrain provides downloadable workout videos that engage the core like Pilates, yoga, boxing, rowing and dancing.
STOTT PILATES has fantastic stability balls, Pilates workout videos and equipment as well as free weights.
Smooth Fitness has terrific fitness equipment, such as stability balls, wrist and ankle weights and medicine balls to enhance your core training!