Core and how we should train it

man doing sit up

Tue 30 Mar 2021

This is always a hot topic in fitness and probably one of the most often asked questions about how to train call six-pack flat stomach abs and the like. Whilst many people are looking to train their core for aesthetic reasons there are just as many who recognise that our core is key to all our bodily movement.

Of course, the core muscles in the midsection are primarily to protect the spine and aid posture and this from a well-being point of view should be our goal. These muscles do not help just stabilise I'll pass you but can help in everyday movements that we do examples squatting twisting reaching bending. Certainly, a strong core can help with all these movements and often when the core is weak these movements are compromised. It widely accepted that the majority of the core muscles are made up of type 1 fibre. This means they are highly resistant to fatigue. When it comes to exercise the other parts of the body will know that a mixture of training methods reps and sets I'm going to be the most beneficial overall.. for example, you wouldn't often choose 100 reps for a bicep curl exercise and yet we often think that more reps are better when it comes to training the core muscles. If we look at the core as a stabilizer for the spine and also a key element in promoting good technique in say deadlift squat and other strength exercises then we should also look at training the core or in a similar way. So when we see those adverts for machines which claim to train your core, if it seems too good to be true it often is so think carefully.

Say hello to Pilates

When I was younger I’m paid very little attention to pilates exercises and how they can help train the core. Probably it was because I didn't value the call highly enough in my exercise routine. Looking back I would say everyone should introduce pilates type movements in their exercise routines as early as possible. It certainly helped me realise the potential to work call using these movements and to move away way from the thousand rep sit-up idea etc!

By incorporating pilates-type movements into my exercise routine has really helped my deadlift bench press running cycling and above all my back health! So if you're in a gym environment and you seriously look for the ab machine or complain if there isn't one think about all the great core exercises you can do with pilates in order to train your core.

Don’t chase results they will find you!

I’ve always been a big believer in thinking about the exercises that you do why you do them and how you do them. The above title is something that I've always used in explaining my philosophy. People are often too focused on the finished product rather than the journey! Challenge how you work the core muscles and think about their role in the movement.

You can train your abs everyday right?

It is common to think that you can exercise your core muscles every single day but we often think of training your upper and lower body on fewer days each week. But remember what we said about the role of the core in all those other exercises that we do in the gym running cycling strength training. If the core muscles become too fatigued those other movements will be compromised.

A plank a day...

One of the most commonly talked about exercises to involve the call is the plank. This is an excellent exercise to do in order to train your core and the primary function of supporting the spine and as a stabilizing muscle for other exercises too. In fact, I often encourage people to design core-based workouts that don't involve a traditional crunch or sit up!.. yes it can be done again challenge why when, and how!

Whatever you do train core more often!..No sit-up/ machine/ crunch workout!

So this is just a short piece to encourage you to think about the role of your call how often you should train NH and what exercises you should be thinking I firmly believe that most people can transform their call into making some simple changes be it discovering pilates type moves to reducing the number of crunches and sit-ups that people do and engaging the core properly in other exercises such as cycling walking dead lifting bench press shoulder press etc!

Remember don't chase results they will find you! work hard think hard!..people often say to me “When will I get a flat stomach” and I reply “With that attitude probably never if at all!”

Written by Chris Lucas health and wellbeing advisor Queens Leisure Centre