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Why strengthen your core?

Last Updated: 14 December 2018

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Why strengthen your core?

One of the most common fitness goals is to flatten and strengthen the abs and core muscles. Other than the pleasing aesthetics of a lean muscular belly, there are much better reasons to tighten that stomach!

There are numerous reasons why having a strong core is important, most of which have nothing to do with looking great at the beach! Some of these are:

 

  • Injury prevention

  • Organ and central nervous system protection

  • Reduced back pain

  • Improved posture

  • Improved balance and stability

  • Functional strength for everyday activities

  • Better sports performance

  • Plus having strong abs makes you feel fab!

 

Best core exercises

If you want to improve your core strength, there are endless numbers of exercises out there for all fitness levels. Start off with the easiest variation of the exercise then once you have mastered it, move on to the next progression. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you can master each progression if you are persistent. Try these core exercises to get you started:

 

Plank hold

Step 1 - Lie face down on the floor with your elbows on the floor. Tuck your toes under and push yourself off the floor.  Keep your core squeezing, your neck straight and your shoulders lifted out of their sockets. Hold this position for as long as possible without putting you knees back down on the floor.

Step 2 - Try to keep a straight line from your toes to your head. Remember to breathe throughout the exercise.

 

Mountain climbers

Step 1 - Start in a push up position on a workout mat. Your hands should be under your shoulders and feet hip width apart.

Step 2 - Without lifting your hips, move one knee forward towards the opposite arm. Do this in one fluid motion.

Step 3 - Kick your leg back so it is back in the push up position. Whilst kicking your leg back, move the knee of the opposing leg towards your other arm in one fluid motion. You will be alternating your knees towards your opposite arms whilst your arms hold your body weight. Try not to lift your hips. Repeat this action, alternating legs.

 

Flutter kicks

Step 1 - Lie comfortably on the floor with your hands underneath your hips. Brace your core and ensure your back is flat on the ground.

Step 2 - Keeping your legs together, slowly raise your legs off the floor to a comfortable position. Keeping your legs straight, alternate raising and lowering your legs, ensuring they do not touch the ground at any point.

Step 3 - Try to keep your back flat on the floor throughout this exercise. To make this exercise easier, try bending your knees slightly. For a harder variation, lift your head and shoulders off the ground.

 

IMPORTANT! If you have an existing injury or health condition please seek advice from your GP before commencing a new exercise program.

 

 

Written by Perri Simon

SiSU Wellness Nutritionist

Categories:
Fitness
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