Another top tip for you is about the importance of core stabilisation activity. The core, or the lumbo-pelvic hip complex are a group of muscles surrounding the pelvis, abdomen and lower (lumbar) spine. Normally mistaken for the abdominal muscles or six pack these muscles are deep, underlying stabilising muscles rather than just the superficial ones you can see. Having a strong core is important for good posture, protection of the joints in the hips and support for the spine. The stronger the core, the more strength/power you can illicit through the limbs.
The best way to describe how the core is exercised is to explain that any time your body is unstable your core is under tension. A simple exercise as standing on one leg, this will activate the muscles of the core to balance your body. Working the core can be fun and very progressive with many different stages.
The main stages
Fixed resistance – Using these machines in the gym require very little work from the core as the balance part is usually done for you however, this is a good place to start for correct form.
Free weights – Without realising it a lot of free weight exercises will work your core if done with correct form e.g standing dumbbell bicep curls – your body needs to stay still and perform the lift without use of momentum. A solid core allows this to happen with less effort.
Unilateral training – This means performing a free weight exercise on one side of the body. The added pressure of imbalances applies more stress to the core which strengthen stabilising muscles. Ever tried side bends with the same weight in both hands? (2x10kg) Now try it with the same weight (1 x 10kg) but just on one side….much harder on the stability right? My point exactly ;). Now try your usual workout with all unilateral exercises, you’ll be having a great core workout.
Core stability training – From this stage your training can begin to get really fun. Kit such as stability balls, TRX, battle ropes, kettle bells, bosu balls chin up bars, even body weight and more can all be used in various ways and combinations to put extreme pressure on the core. These kind of advanced moves should only be performed when the body is ready and you have made it through all the stages without any unwanted pain in the lower back.
If you’re looking for a core stability session feel free to contact me to set up a meeting/session. I now offer free no obligation consultations around Surrey – Walton on Thames, Weybridge, Esher, Hersham, Cobham, Oakham, Ripley, Sunbury, Burwood Park. St. George’s hill, and many more.
Remember, you are only as strong as your core!
Until next time – stay active!
Ben Coleman B.A (Hon)
Personal training and nutritional support