I used to absolutely hate training my core area (abdominal muscles, hips, and the back). I just didn’t think it was all that necessary since I work all my other muscle groups throughout the week and I often think “well, my core must get some work because of it”.
However, the more I learn about fitness through experience at work or through researching on my own, the more I realize that core training is in fact very beneficial to any workout program.
The benefits I’ve noticed personally are less tightness in my hips (actually, tightness is not much of an issue lately!) and no more IT band pain while running. Also, I’ve experienced less low back pain in general, which I sometimes get when I get lazy with stretching and doing my core workouts.
Some other benefits of core training include:
- Better posture
- More control
- Improved, more powerful performance
- Injury prevention and rehabilitation
- Increased protection and “bracing” for your back
- A more stable center of gravity
- A more stable platform for sports movements
My Core Training
I don’t have a specific schedule for core training, but with the classes I teach I tend to work my core area specifically about 3-4 times per week. I teach a Mat Pilates class once per week and the entire class is dedicated to core training. I also include core exercises in my Cardio Pilates classes, where half of the class is dedicated to core training. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite moves that target the core.
Here are the best core exercises (in my opinion of course!):
- Forearm Plank Hold
- Forearm Side Plank Hold
- Plank with Knee Tuck
- Side Plank with Knee Tuck
- Opposite Arm and Leg Lift
Swiss Ball/Stability Ball Exercises
Do you regularly train your core muscles? If so, what are your favorite exercises?
P.S. I love how I wrote my post on “Tips for Running with Dogs” because this morning at 5:45AM while getting ready for our 2-mile run, Boo and Sophia saw a bunny and at the moment I didn’t have a tight grasp on their leashes…and yep, they got away and went running down the street!
Boo makes this crazy screaming sound when he sees small animals, so I’m sure the neighbors appreciated that. I did get them back easily, but wow, did that wake me up! Lesson learned: Have a FIRM grasp on their leashes from the start!
Well, I’m off to North Carolina tonight for the long weekend!! Have a wonderful Memorial Day! 🙂