The core, or the Lumbopelvic-Hip-complex is the body’s stabiliser muscles. It is made up of various muscles surrounding the abdominal pelvis and lower back area.
Having a strong core brings many benefits from postural correction to improved limb strength. To begin training the core there are three steps to take and progress through.
If resistance machines are the only equipment you have used in the gym then the first step is to move on towards free weight. fixed resistance machines tend not to utilize the core muscles. This is due to their single plane motion and high stability. Free weights will activate the core due to instability. Dumbbells, barbells etc will suffice.
Once you’re core has been trained to free weights and you feel comfortable the next step in core training is to begin using free weights but only single arm exercises. This creates a slightly more unstable effect making your core work oven harder to stabilise you.
The last step (and this is where is gets fun!) is unstable surfaces. This has endless possibilities and challenges the core to another level. You can begin from single leg exercises progressing to equipment such as Bosu balls, stability balls, TRX and kettlebells. Use your imagination and challenge your core.
Challenge – Plank for 30 seconds with forearms on one stability ball and feet on another.