In the world of fitness, “CORE” is a magical word, and rightfully so, because without a strong core your limbs are useless. The core consists of all trunk muscles; glutes, hips, abs, and lower back. Ensure you engage your core by pulling your belly button back toward your spine at all times. Each time that you notice your stomach is sticking out, it is imperative that you pull it back in, especially when exercising. If you desire a firm strong midsection, understand that balance=belly. The more you utilize balance, the stronger your core muscles become.
Your resistance-training program must include core and balance exercises. In order to maintain balance, your core must engage and recruit muscles. For example, if your goal includes working on your core, then do your bicep curls while standing on one foot. This will force your body to maintain good form and prevent cheating, while exercising your muscles from head to toe. If you require your body to balance as it performs many of your exercises or tasks, you will work your core muscles more often, reduce your risk of falling, and save precious time, as well. For example, if you are on the phone at home, don’t just stand there; do balance exercises. Balance pods, foam rollers, DynaDiscs®, and balance boards are all exercise tools designed to make your workouts more challenging. My personal favorite is the BOSU®. It is a fantastic tool for developing better balance and provides a more challenging workout while working your core muscles the entire time you are using it! I recommend that you choose at least one exercise for your lower back, glute, hip, obliques, and abdominals, performed in this order.
If you enjoy running, choose exercises that will enhance your skills. My favorite exercises for runners are:
Triceps: prone extensions, rope cable extensions, reverse grip extensions
Back: face pulls, rear delt pulls, rows, superman crisscross
Abdominals: cable rotations, med ball ax chops, bicycle, windmills
Lats: straight bar and single arm pullovers, med ball pullovers
Hips: hello dollies, side-lying hip abduction, prone scissors
More Answers from Traci Riley , NASM Elite Trainer