Core strength is the internal strength that stabilizes your entire body, giving you control of yourself regardless of external stimulus. For example, if you are walking on an uneven path and lose your footing, your core strength is what will help you to keep yourself from falling.
As you can see, core strength is not about having perfectly chiseled abs to flaunt at the beach. It's primarily important because it helps us with our balance, strength, coordination and injury prevention. Core strength is the basis of all strength. If you want to be strong in other places you need to start by strengthening the core. If your core is weak, you will be unable to safely and efficiently strengthen any other area of the body.
So what are some ways we can train the core to get it strong? Here are our three go-to movements for a healthy core:
Planks are the most basic and best way to train and strengthen the core. During a plank, many different areas of the body are being worked, from the shoulders down to the feet. When performed properly, a plank puts the body into perfect posture, so while the core is working, the body is also being trained to improve posture.
A typical plank is done from the palms, elbows extended, feet on the floor about hip width apart. Focus on engaging the abdominal muscles along with the muscles surrounding the hips while holding the pose for 15-30 seconds. For more of a challenge, bring the elbows down to the ground.
2. Get Up To Elbow
This movement is also a smart way to strengthen the core due to its daily use in everyday life. This exercise is very functional, because it trains our bodies to properly and safely get up from a laying position. While we are training our bodies to do such a seemingly simple movement, the movements involved in a get up to elbow transfer into other more athletic movements.
To do a get up to elbow, start by laying flat on the ground. Bend your right knee up, planting the right foot on the ground. The right hand will come straight up, pointing towards the ceiling. Your left arm and leg will stay flat on the ground, away from the body at about a 45 degree angle. Push yourself up fully onto the left elbow, and then slowly come back down to laying. Repeat for 8 reps on each side.
3. 1KB (kettlebell) Walk
Our last recommendation for movement to strengthen the core is a 1KB Walk. We love this exercise because it not only strengthens the core, particularly around the spine, but it is also super functional because we walk with things in our hand many times in everyday activities.
For this movement, pick up a heavy kettlebell with one hand. Stand tall with shoulders back, engaging the abdominal muscles. Try to keep your body as straight as possible, and don't let the kettlebell touch your leg. Walk for 15-25 seconds each side or for 30 steps each side.
The best core exercises are the ones that are most applicable in real life movement scenarios. Contact us today if you’d like coaching on other ways to strengthen the core or for more tips on how to become the healthiest version of yourself!