From your toes to your hairline, the foundation of your body is its center. The center of our body in the physical sense is our core which consists of the 29 muscles of the Lumbo-Pelvic Hip Complex. These muscles are essential in providing us with the balance and stabilization that we need to stand up, sit down, bend over, turn around, and perform hundreds of other functions that we take for granted every day. Through exercise and proper functional movement training we can strengthen these muscles and help us become more efficient when exercising and also help to alleviate low back pain that plagues many Americans day in and day out.
Trying to sift through the plethora of good and bad information on core training can be daunting and potentially causes anxiety in novice exercisers who just do not know how to filter the information properly and apply it to their individual goals. Exercises such as planks, Turkish get-ups, bosu ball variations, and explosive movements with a medicine ball can all strengthen the core and if used properly help to progress exercises from an unconditioned state in terms of the core musculature.
When beginning an exercise program it is always imperative to begin with a stabilization stage to provide a proprioceptively rich environment that prepares the body to begin a strength training program. In this stage we can begin to work with equipment like a swiss ball that provides some support and also trains the muscles to stabilize the body while performing more challenging movements in the future. Planks can also be very efficient at different levels by using variations and elevations to make the planks more or less challenging based on our individual needs. Essentially, the key component to beginning a core training program is to take the progression of exercises slowly and only performing the movements that your body can execute properly without deviating from the proper form and techniques recommended by your fitness training professional.
When evaluating the importance of training our core to become more efficient in our everyday lives we must first look objectively at the things we need to improve upon. Finding some fundamental exercises to begin your program is important to providing a foundation to build your core musculature. By taking the proper time needed to gradually strengthen the core, we provide the body with the strength it needs to progress along a fitness continuum without developing muscle imbalances and overuse injuries that eventually derail our workout program and frustrate us to a point of no return! Let’s do ourselves a favor and build our foundation like a contractor constructs his perfect home, slowly and efficiently while taking the time to use the correct tools and materials! Until next time……….build away!————-> R’s