What’s So Important About Core Strength?

What's So Important About Core Strength

Most people want a six-pack, but having a strong core will make much more of an impact on your overall health and fitness. Your core is central to almost everything (literally and figuratively) physical that you do–including how good your posture is while you’re standing and sitting.

The reason why your core is so important is because it provides stability, not just power. Stability is usually one of those things that we take for granted. Most of us don’t consciously think about it when we’re exercising, but without it it’s really hard to perform well, especially with activities like sports.

A strong core allows for us to do exercises properly without losing balance and can help strengthen other muscles as well. We do a lot of core-conditioning exercises in our Trifecta classes; not just ab stuff, but also when you’re doing boxing, kickboxing, HIIT, or yoga.

Some of our favorite core exercises have already been discussed in the blogs, so I won’t go into detail about them. At the top of our list are the obvious: planks, plank variations (like spiderman planks, plank jacks, shoulder taps, hip dips, plank saws), V-ups, Russian Twists, Glute Bridges, Bear Crawls, Knee Tucks, Mountain Climbers (and those variations too). The list goes on.

Here are three more exercises that I’d like to introduce. Note that the one thing that you really want to focus on while doing these exercises is CONTROL. You don’t need to do these quickly or go for reps. Having solid control is the most important part of these workouts.

  • Bird Dog: It’s a great way to test your balance and also a good warm-up exercise. Start in tabletop position. Simultaneously extend one arm and the opposite leg away from you. Then bring both back into tabletop and extend the other arm/leg. Maintain control throughout this exercise and keep your core tight.
  • Floating Tabletop: From the regular tabletop position, lift your knees slightly off of the ground. Hold this position like you would a plank. Start with 1 minute. You can then do shoulder taps while holding the floating tabletop. A great variation that will really test your stability is doing a torso rotation from floating tabletop, pulling one leg under and across to the opposite side. Allow your leg to extend straight out while you rotate your torso and lift the opposite hand (if right leg is pulling through, then lift left hand) off of the ground during the rotation. To make this exercise even more advanced, lift your foot off of the ground and and touch your non-grounded hand to your foot in mid-air. Then with control, return back to floating tabletop and repeat with the opposite side.
  • Hollow Body Hold: Super basic, but pretty fundamental exercise. It’s a simple exercise, but making sure that our lower back is flat against the ground and shoulders aren’t too high is key. Start by laying down with your back on the ground. To ensure that your lower back is flush against the floor, start with your knees bent and then, keeping your legs together, slowly straighten them out, holding your feet 2-3 inches off of the floor. Extend arms straight past your head as well, lifting your shoulder blades off of the floor. Keep your chin tucked, engage your core, and hold.

A common misconception is that the only way you can strengthen your core is through doing a lot of sit-ups and crunches. Hopefully you know that this is far from the truth. If anything, a well-rounded core strengthening workout should engage much more of your torso-stabilizing muscles than what sit-ups and crunches do.


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