The abs workout is something rather
old hat now, and the new fitness mantra that all the experts are extolling
the virtues of is the Core Workout Routine. This is because a core workout
is what helps to strengthen and reinforce the center of the body that
houses the most important organs; the core that gives stability, balance
and definition to the rest of the body.
A core workout routine is more
comprehensive, since it helps to target not just the ab muscles but
also the muscles along the spinal column, the transverse abdominis muscles
as well as the obliques which run along the sides of the waist (what
we colloquially call the love handles).
In addition, muscles like the multifidus,
which helps extend and rotate the spine, the hip flexors, (in front
of the pelvis and upper thighs), the hip adductors and the muscles at
the sides of the hips, and upper thighs are also engaged.
So a good core workout will give you
that enviable six-pack but as well it will engage many more muscles
than the ab workout and is comprehensive in a way that will help the
body in several ways.
- Developing and strengthening
the muscles of the core helps improve reaction time, and helps the body
to absorb and distribute shock and stress evenly and effectively.
- The body is better coordinated,
more agile and powerful with the help of a good core workout routine.
- Athletes, weight lifters
and others who are dependent upon core strength greatly benefit form
- The body gains better flexibility
due to a strong core.
- A strong core means
strong ab and back muscles to help avoid injury and protect the spine
and the back from aches and pains.
- One’s posture improves
as the torso becomes stronger, slimmer and more erect, enhancing confidence
- Core fitness enhances energy
levels and makes you more able to work out, leading to long term fitness.
- Functional fitness, which
helps the body function on a day to day basis improves with core strength.
A Sports medicine expert recommends
that the following exercises should form part of a good core workout
requires you to place your weight on your elbows and your toes with
only these touching the ground and the rest of the body is in a plank
position. Then lift one arm out in front and alternate to increase intensity.
The side plank
requires you to be on your side, with one foot and one elbow touching
the ground, holding the position for up to a minute and then reversing
sides. It’s more difficult that it sounds.
The V-sit Abdominal Exercise
involves sitting in a V-shaped position with the butt resting on the
ground with the arms reaching for the feet.
The Bicycle crunch where the
right elbow reaches for the left knee and vice versa, the hip bridge
exercise, the push up lat row, and the twisting skip should also be
part of your core workout routine.