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10 Core Training Tips and Core Workout Tips

Aug 9, 2008
Core training has become popular as a fitness philosophy because it is a great way to build a strong foundation. Here are 10 Core Exercise Tips.

Tip #1: Activate Your Abdominal Muscles

The abdominal muscles play a significant role in core stability. The deep abdominal muscles contract to stabilize the spine before the arms and legs can move. The drawing-in maneuver and the plank are great exercises to activate the deep abdominal muscles.

Tip #2: Strengthen Your Lower Back Muscles

The lower back muscles often get neglected in fitness programs, probably in part because of vanity. I have never heard someone say, "Do you know any good exercises to get ripped lower back muscles?" In fitness many people are focused on getting 6 pack abs and a flat stomach, and they are neglecting their back.

The back muscles are just as important as the abdominal muscles. If you want to have a strong core, you must have both strong abs and strong back muscles.

Tip #3: Learn to Engage the Pelvic Floor

The Pelvic Floor muscles are most popular when discussing sexual dysfunction or bladder control issues, but they are really important for stabilizing the pelvis lumbar spine. They actually work with the abdominals and back muscles. To engage the pelvic floor muscles you have to contract as if you were preventing yourself from going to the bathroom.

Tip #4: Do Balance Exercises

Balance Exercises are any exercise when you are standing on 1 leg or when you are standing on an unstable surface. Your center of gravity shifts when you stand on one leg, so your core muscles must work harder to maintain your alignment. Balance Exercises are an important part of a core workout routine.

Tip #5: Strengthen your Scapular Muscles and Rotator Cuff

Your core is more than just your spine. Your core is your entire trunk and consists of the shoulder and scapular stabilizers. When your scapula is stable, you will be less likely to get shoulder injuries and you will perform at a higher level. Your core workout should include scapular and rotator cuff exercises.

Tip #6: Strengthen your Gluteus Maximus

The hip stabilizers are also part of the core. The glutes attach to the pelvis and control the position of the hips. When the glutes are weak or inefficient you will have a decrease in pelvic stability and hip stability. Bridges are a great exercise to strengthen the glutes an improve core stability.

Tip #7: Train for Stabilization and Endurance First

Core stabilization exercises are exercises in which there is little to no movement around the spine. When you begin a core program, it is important to first build a solid foundation of stability. If you focus on stability first, you will make greater improvements in strength and speed. The Plank is a great core stabilization exercise.

Tip #8: Train for Strength Second

Once you have a good base of stability, shift to building strength. Strength exercises challenge your abdominal and back muscles through a large range of motion. Crunches on a Swiss Ball and lower back extension on a machine are good strength exercises.

Tip #9: Train for Power and Speed Third

Once you have a base of stability and strength, you can more efficiently develop your speed. In addition, if you have a strong foundation, you will be less likely to get injured and your performance will improve more quickly. Power exercises are done in a fast and explosive way. Medicine ball throws and jumping exercises help to develop the power of your core muscles.

Tip #10: Play with Different Core Exercise Equipment

There are many tools that can enhance your core workout. The Exercise Ball, Reebok Core Board, and the Bosu Ball are all great tools that can challenge your coordination and balance. When you exercise on less stable surfaces, your core muscles work even harder to stabilize your body.

Well, I hope those tips help to give you some ideas about how to improve your core workout.
About the Author
Dr. Charles A. Inniss, Jr. is a physical therapist and personal trainer.

For pictures of core exercises and free core workouts visit his website Ab-Core-and-Stomach-Exercises.com. Click for more Core Training Tips
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