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What is Core Training?

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Core training refers to the exercises that train your core. Your core is basically everything that attaches to arms and legs. As far as I have seen, most trainers seem to focus on the abs, lower back, and balance when they do core training.

Training directed at your core helps to shave off fat and is an effective Health and Fitness workout for people that want to improve stability, strength, and posture at the same time-not to mention getting a ripped physique. It can be done by anyone, with equipments or none, and can be easily done at home. But before you plunge Core training into your daily Health and Fitness routines, you must first find out what exactly is the 'Core'?

During the 80's, the predominant exercise done by people to improve their physique was the "Abdominal Training" or colloquially called 'Ab Work', and aims to form ripped six pack abs in your abdomen. But during the 90's until today, 'Ab Work' has been replaced by Core training and is a more powerful term to describe the parts of the body where power originates. The Core is the group of muscles in your mid-section that not just includes your abdomen but also other muscles located on your front and sides, and also includes your lower back muscles. The muscles of the core are:

1. The Traverse Abdominis or TVA- is the muscle located under the obliques. It is also the muscles of your waist and is the deepest part of your abdomen that wraps around the spine to protect and stabilize it.

2. Erector Spinae- This is the group of muscles running along your neck and lower back.

3. Obliques- The External Obliques are the side and front muscles of the abdomen the Internal Obliques on the other hand are the muscles under the external obliques and runs in the opposite direction.

4. Rectus Abdominis- This is the front part of the abdomen that is molded in to the six-pack in thin and fit individuals.

These muscles are important to stabilize the body. They help make the body erect and stronger core muscles maintains your posture. It also limits the amount of fat that your 'belly' will have which makes it an effective stabilizer to get rid of protruding waistlines. If these stabilizer muscles get any weaker it could lead to immense back pains. Weak and unbalanced muscles are also major reasons for lower back pain. The muscles also acts as a guard for your spinal cord so if any of these muscles get weaker, your spinal columns become susceptible to deformations which will greatly affect your posture. A strong and solid core will also let you get more strength out of your moves and enhances your endurance which is a great benefit for athletes.

Core training is greatly needed especially today when everyone's daily schedule largely constitutes sitting. You go to work for eight hours in your office, and you sit all day long with only 30min-1hour break which is your only time to stand. Then you have to drive an hour or so in heavy traffic. All this sitting and no core training weakens your core muscles and produces a protruding belly. To keep those fats off and your core muscles strong and solid use any of these core training exercises for perfect Health and Fitness.

The best core Health and Fitness exercises that you can do are the ones that you can do at home with no equipment whatsoever. These are called body weight exercises that focus on giving enough strain and pressure to your core muscles to stimulate growth. Never do these exercises any more than what is needed and be careful when performing them. Suggested routine for starters is 10-15 times of each exercise for two to three non-consecutive days a week.

Common Exercises:

Sit-Up- This is your common sit up where you have to lift your shoulders off the ground while in lying down position.

Russian Twist- Put one foot on your raised foot and your hands at the back of your head then perform a twist while raising your body aiming to touch your other knee with your elbow.

Leg raise- Put your hands under your buttocks and raise your shoulders and legs a little then bring your legs towards your abdomen.

Other I like to include in my routines:

1. Bow to Boat - Switch between these two positions with 30 second holds. Bow - Lift your legs at a 45 degree angle. Lift your arms parallel Boat - This is where you make a boat by laying on your stomach and grabbing your ankles. Try to lift your chest and knees off the floor for maximum flexibility.

2. Superman / Banana - Shift between these two for even more fun. Hold each of these for 20-30 seconds.

Superman - Lay on your belly, arms and legs extended. Head down, lift your arms and legs; fly.

Banana - Lay on your back. Raise your arms and legs at about a 30 degree angle. Make like a banana.

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