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Core Strengthening: Why You Should Fit It In

Feb 1, 2017 | Strength | 0 comments

When you hear people talk about core training, a lot of the time you may just assume it’s toning your abs. But there’s more to core training than just the abdominals and getting a flat tummy. Your core is one of the most important parts of your body and it’s time to understand why you should focus on it when you train.

What is core strength?

The core is made up of three sheaths of muscles: the upper abs, the side muscles (the oblique muscles) and a very deep layer of muscles. The deep muscles are what supports your spine and acts like a natural corset. When you work those muscles, you not only get a flatter stomach, but also a tighter stomach.

What does core strengthening / core training do?

Core training does two things – makes you look thinner and supports your spine and helps with balancing. If you do a lot of core engaging activities, such as yoga or Pilates, you will notice your core muscles getting stronger. Those core muscles are connected to your legs and affect the way you stand, squat and sit. However, it’s not it’s not just about working your abdominal muscles, it’s also about trainingyour back, glutes and the entire area that connects to your spinal cord. This helps your body support your spine so the burden of supporting your body weight isn’t just placed on your bones.

What’s the difference between core training and working your abs?

The difference between core and abs training is that you’re not just targeting the front side of the body; you’re also targeting the back. With core workouts, you work out the erector spinae, which are the muscles that make up your back and glutes. A movement that works your core is going to work more than one muscle group and will also show results faster.

Why is core strength important?

Core strengthening is something that will help your body age better. It helps prevent injuries in your back when you’re working other parts of your body. Core strengthening also helps you stay healthy by protecting vital systems below the surface. Keeping strong core muscles will help ensure everything stays protected as you move through your day. Having strong core muscles make it easier to do everything from swinging a golf club to bending down to tie your shoes. Weak core muscles leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries. Back pain is a common side effect of a weak core. When our abdominals are weak, it’s often because our back muscles are overly strong. Core strengthening helps bring balance to the front and back of your body.

What are some good resistance band training exercises for core strength?

Resistance band training is great for core strengthening. Below are some easy and useful exercises that will help with your core training.

Kneeling Crunch – Attach your Slastix Toner to a high anchor (like a top of a door or cable column) and kneel down, grabbing each side of the band. Extend the elbows out at shoulder-level, engage your abdominals and crunch down toward your hips while contracting your abs. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 12 reps.

Anti-Rotation Band Walkouts – Anchor a loop or tube band on a cable column or support positioned slightly below your chest. Grasping the free end, create tension on the band and squat to an athletic stance. Holding the band with both hands straight out in front of your chest, keeping your core tight, step laterally until the band is too tense to go any further. Slow and controlled, move back toward the column to starting position. Repeat for 8 reps on each side.

Russian Twist – Sit on the floor with legs extended, wrapping the center of the band around the bottom of your feet. Hold the free ends in each hand. Slightly bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor, and lean back at a 45-degree angle. Rotate the band right by bringing your left hand across your body and your right hand down by your right hip. Contracting your oblique muscles, bring the band toward your right hip while keeping your middle and low back neutral. Return to starting position and rotate left then right for a total of 12 reps on each side.

Woodchoppers – Anchor the Slastix Toner toward the top of a cable column or support. With your right side to the support, grab the free end of the band with your arms stretched out overhead. In one smooth motion, pull the band down and across your body to the front of your knees while rotating your right hip and pivoting your back foot. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 8 reps on each side.

Reverse Crunch – Anchor the band on a low support. Lie on your back, bending knees at 90 degrees. Wrap band around the tops of both feet and scoot back to create tension. Abs tight and back flat, pull your knees toward your shoulders, contracting your abdominal muscles. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 12 reps.

When doing core training, make sure you do what’s right for you. What’s best for one person might not be right for another. Whatever methods you settle on know that it’ll be worth your time. Stroops focuses heavily on core strengthening and resistance training, which may be the perfect workout for you. For more tips and tricks on working out and training, visit our blog frequently.

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