A Canadian study over 13 years and 8,000 people showed a death rate more than double for people with a weak mid-section! So today we’re going to dig in to the most talked about magazine body part and get to know why it really matters!
- Core and abs are not the same thing.
- A strong core means better endurance, better strength and a pain free back.
- A strong core also means better posture, which can instantly make you look leaner.
All right now we know it’s important, let’s learn what it does and then work it!!!
ANATOMY OF A SIX PACK
It might be called a six pack, but there are actually 8, which you probably know if you’ve seen Magic Mike! But beyond the visual, there is a whole lot happening in the core that will make you a stronger runner and keep you healthier overall.
External Obliques: The ab muscles along your sides
Internal Obliques: Help to twist your body from side to side
— You can work these with bicycle crunches, side planks, the moves below!
— Super important for keeping shoulders square while running
— Better breathing while running! A sign of oblique weakness is that people stop breathing when performing simple movement patterns to maintain stability.
Rectus Abdominus: The a fore mentioned eight pack across your front
— You can work these through crunches, sit ups, really most any traditional ab move
— Helps to contract the body to curl upper body down or lower body up, helps to raise legs
Transverse Abdominus: Lies beneath your other muscles and it’s your major stabilizer
— You can work this through planks, Pilates, stability ball moves
— Helps to improve breathing for your runs!Hip Flexors: Originating on your spine these muscles help raise your leg
— You can work this through many of the hip exercises I’ve shown!
— Stronger hip flexors mean raising your knee higher and more power in your stride
Lower back (made of 3 muscles): Keep your spine stable and allow you to bend backwards
— You can work these through lying on your stomach and doing supermans, deadlifts
— A weak low back won’t support that strong core!
Glutes: Stabilize your hips
— You can work these through squats, lunges, running!
— Helps to provide power to your stride, keeps your running gait aligned and ensures your hip flexors aren’t overworked
ABS AND LEGS WORKOUT
Now that we know our abs are so much more than a six pack (and that while most want to be able to see abs, they serve an important purpose), let’s put it all together with a workout!! No crunches, no sit ups and nope not even a plank today.
Working your core in different ways is key to hitting all the different muscles and one way we often neglect, but works instantly is BALANCE. Not only will it force you to tighten your core right away, but improve your running.
Abs and Legs Core Workout
Do core 2-3 times per week
12 -15 reps on each side x 2
Lunge to Lift
Feet hip width apart, lunge to the right and reach left hand to toe. Tighten your core and transfer weight to the left foot, raise left arm to the side and right knee in front. (Add a light weight for more strength!)
Step left leg behind right with arms overhead side crunch to the right. Stabilize your core and lift left leg up and out to the side then bend to left.
Lunge with Rotation
Step forward with right leg and rotate left elbow towards right knee. Rotate back to facing forward and step back to standing.
Now repeat on the other side!
How often do you work your core?
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