When I am in a training session, people often ask “when can I get a flat belly or 6 pack abs”? Of course, first thing that comes to mind is that they are only looking for esthetics. I must admit, I too enjoyed having well defined abs, but it takes work…lots of it. Eating well balanced meals and working the abdominals like any other muscle helps define them.
However, good looking abs are NOT the only thing the “CORE” is all about. Here are a few things the “core” supports:
- helps to improve athletic performance. think about the athletes who play ball. for example: the swing in golf, tennis, baseball etc…they have the ability to twist their upper torso with power while maintaining stability and strength through the center of their body. or how about the dancers? ever notice how well they can lengthen through their limbs and maintain a strong stable center?
- have low back pain? having core muscles helps protect your spine and gives it more support.
- abdominal work helps with digestion and can prevent bloating and constipation.
- helps reduce risk factors such as diabetes which can occur during the aging process mainly caused by excess belly fat.
- helps you to maintain good posture, keeping the body well aligned will prevent imbalances to your neck, shoulders, low back and knees. think of it this way, if your head is down and forward (i.e., working at a desk staring at computers), you have added 12 lbs of pressure to your neck muscles. your poor neck muscles are working extra hard just to hold your head up.
- ever noticed that runners have good posture? imagine if they didn’t….can you picture a slouching runner?
- can help maintain cardiovascular health. when you do abdominal and core exercises in a non-rest circuit, you reap the benefits of cardio and strength.