Your core is so important!
A strong core is about much more than having ‘6 pack abs’. Your core is the support system for your entire body and is involved in all aspects of everyday movement and life – without it, you would not be able to stay upright!
The core is made up of more than just the coveted abdominal muscles, it includes your pelvis, diaphragm, pelvic floor & back muscles. These all work together to support you throughout your day, from getting out of bed, sitting at your desk, doing the housework, picking up your children & bending to put that workout gear on!
A weak core can lead to back problems, poor posture, poor balance, shallow breathing and injury. Strengthening it isn’t about doing a million Crunches, or 10 minute Planks. Switching your core ‘on’ by tensing the muscles while going through your day, being aware of your posture by sitting upright with your shoulders back & using your legs instead of your back to lift are all ways to strengthen and prevent yourself from injury.
Compound movements (movements that use multiple muscle groups – think burpees, press ups, squats & dead lifts) are a fantastic way of working your entire core, and other muscles at the same time. Maximum bang for your buck!!
Below are 5 great exercises you can add into your workout routine a few times a week. I can’t promise you a ‘6 pack’, but I can promise your body and ‘future you’ will thank you for putting in a little extra work!
Please note these exercises are not for pregnancy, post partum or for anyone who has any reason why they can’t partake in intense physical activity.
A great variation on your standard Plank! Also fab as it can be done anywhere & by most fitness levels. This exercise uses many muscle groups and takes a bit of balance too! You’re working your core muscles, but also your glutes and hamstrings, shoulders and quads! When performing your plank, always ensure you have your ‘HIPS UP, BUM DOWN & BACK FLAT!’
These are super cool as they work your brain as well as your muscles! A good one to keep your brain engaged in what you are doing, therefore being more conscious of the movement. Lying on your back, with arms and legs extended, as one leg goes down, the opposite arm moves behind your head. Keep your lower back firmly on the ground to engage your inner most core muscles.
Another goodie for many fitness levels! You’ll feel this one mostly in your obliques (side abdominal muscles), but you’re also getting the main trunk of your core as well as a bit of leg and arm action. Make this harder by lifting your feet off the ground and even holding a weight if you’re up for a challenge!
As with most core exercises, this one is all about control – you need to make sure you’re engaging your core muscles and not using momentum to propel your hips up. A challenging movement, but definitely worth persevering with to strengthen your pelvic floor and lower abdominals, among other muscles.
A bit of a progression from the humble Sit Up! These take a bit of stability and balance and are also sure to get your heart rate up a bit! Ensure your core is engaged and your posture is strong, with your shoulders back and chest proud to support your back. Make these a little easier by touching your feet to the ground between reps.
Please note: These exercises are not for pregnancy, post partum or for anyone who has any reason why they can’t partake in intense physical activity. Please consult your health care professional if you have any concerns.
If you are looking to get back into exercise post injury or pregnancy PLEASE GET IN TOUCH with us and we will help you out!