What is meant by “exercise your core”?

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In order to strength your core, you must know the muscles that consist of the core:

The National Academy of Sports Medicine defines the core as:  The “Cervical Spine, thoracic Spine and the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex.”

Essentially the core consists of everything within your center of gravity, all areas of your abdominals, your back, your glutes, and beyond.  Exercising these muscles means to exercise an area that is part of your core musculature.  You can complete exercises such as:

  • Bridging
  • Leg Curl
  • Planks
  • Abdominal Roll-outs

The list will go on and on.  Your focus should be to build a strong core and to do so smartly and effectively.  If I can further assist, please let me know.

To "exercise your core" means to bring conscious attention and tension to your core muscles while doing specific exercises that will target and train them. Exercising your core is doing things like pike crucnhes, floor bridges, bicycle twist, and supermans. Working out your core means working out the entire middle section of your body which includes your stomach muscles, your hips, your butt, your lower back as well your side obliques and adductors. All these areas make up the core, this is why it is important to work your core from all angles, since the core is not just the front of your body, you have to work the back and the sides as well. Working out your core this way will give you optimum results and the sculpted look you desire.

A common misconception is that exercising your core simply means working your abdominal muscles. Core exercises also strengthen your hips, back and all muscles in the midsection of the body. The core is your center of gravity and where all body movements begin. A strong core is important for posture and will also help you properly perform all functional activities in your daily life. Having a strong core has also been shown to help alleviate lower back pain.

 

If you are new to core exercise, you should start with Core Stabilization exercises. Example Core Stabilization exercises include: Marching, Floor Bridge, Floor Prone Cobra and Prone Iso-Ab (Plank Pose). You can work up to performing 12-20 repetitions of each exercise (1-4 sets). You should perform Stabilization exercises for at least four weeks before moving on to more advanced core exercises.

 

Examples of more advanced core exercises include: Ball Crunch, Back Extensions, Cable Rotations and Reverse Crunches. You can perform 8-12 repetitions of each exercise (2-4 sets).  Finally, as you get stronger you can then progress to more explosive core movements (also known as Power Core Exercises). You will use a medicine ball to perform these exercises. Examples include the Rotation Chest Pass, Woodchop Throw and Front Medicine Ball Oblique Throw. Perform 8-12 repetitions (2-3 sets).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.