Focusing on training your abs or core is wise, most of us are weak in this area and strengthening it will help with many postural issues and tightness people experience. However crunches and sit ups are not the answer. If you are looking to lose fat, especially if it’s more than a couple of kgs, then focusing on FULLBODY MOVEMENTS, HEALTHY EATING and DAILY MOVEMENT will help. Doing a load of crunches and drinking “healthy juice diets” will give you a sore back and diarrhea.
Check out our previous blog posts for full body workout ideas and why bigger muscle groups burn more calories and fat than small movements like crunches. If you are really looking to strengthen and define that core then let’s look into some movements that will set you up long term.
This is the definitive core exercise and with good reason. It involves minimal movement with maximal effort, requiring you to support your body on with your arms and toes while holding your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. You can make it easier by resting on your knees, or harder by extending your arms so you’re supported by your hands. If performed correctly and with focus you will engage the abdominals, lower back, chest, shoulders, upper trapezius, and neck, biceps,triceps, glutes, thighs, and calves. If you are not activating your core you will feel the pressure in your lower back, along with a curved dip in it.
THE DEADBUG –
Seems like a game for children, but if we’d kept up this sort of game we would be significantly better set up for fullbody strength. Lay on your back with your arms extended straight up towards the ceiling, and your legs raised with your knees bent at 90°.
Lower your right arm and left leg at the same time until they are hovering just above the floor, then return to the starting position. Then do the same with the opposite limbs.Techniques ranging from easiest to hardest: one arm, both arms, one leg, one arm and one leg (the classic dead bug), two legs, both your arms and legs. If you’re unable to complete any of the exercises without arching your back, it’s a good indication that you might need to take a step back.
THE BOAT –
Another exercise that holds memories of childhood play, might look like a game but this is a challenge! Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and hold your arms out in front of you as you raise your feet off the ground with your legs together. If you can, extend your legs so they are straight and your body forms a V shape. You can also raise your arms and spread your legs to make the hold harder.
So if you’re really trying to improve your core and get a proper six pack for summer, add these exercise into your routine or introduce them in the morning as an active start to the day.
Perform as circuit, no rest between exercises, 60 seconds between rounds 3-5 rounds.
PLANK – 30 Seconds focusing on maximal contraction of the core muscles described.
DEADBUG – 30 seconds focusing on the variation you can maintain for time.
BOAT – 10-20 seconds (if holding correctly after the previous 20 seconds should have you shaking)
Give these a go, if you are new to core training speak to us and we can show you other variations or set you up a FREE programme as part of your membership. We also have a lot more blogs on core activation and exercises so feel free to browse and contact us for more information.