Personal Training in Portishead

Benefits of Core Exercises

19 July 2021

Core exercises will benefit your daily living and fitness goals
For a well rounded fitness regime it is important to include core exercises with your aerobic and muscular resistance training.
Many of your body’s movements originate from your core. Strengthening your core will enhance the alignment of your spine, your posture, stability and more. Below is a list of some of the proven benefits of having a strong core.
• Reduced Risk of Back Pain Core exercises can help reduce the risk of back pain/discomfort and improve support for the spine.
• Improved Balance a stronger core creates greater stability
• Better Training Results All exercises rely on core strength to aid movement and sporting performance. Be it a fast bowler in a cricket match, a canoeist, boxer or an archer the core is key.
• Improved Posture By correctly training the core muscles (namely the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques and erector spinae) you would benefit from a greater posture and a reduced risk of a back injury.
• Activities of Daily Living Made Easier be it reaching for an object, washing, getting dressed etc the core plays a vital role

When training the core never rush or push yourself beyond what feels comfortable, take it steady and if there is any discomfort of a joint “STOP”.
Failing to exercise the mid section of the body correctly means any potential benefit to the core is greatly reduced and there is an increased risk of injury.

The plank Is one of the best core exercises for midsection strength and posture.
However, as with any exercise it is essential it is done properly.

To perform a plank correctly you should:
• Imagine drawing a straight line from the top of your head to your heels, with your entire body in a perfectly straight line, with shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles on the same plane.
• Establish a good base on your elbows, directly under your shoulders and at a 90-degree angle.
• Clench your glutes, your core should be braced and remember to breathe.

Common faults of the plank are:
• Glutes high in the air or the hips might start to sag, which can put pressure on the lower back.
• Looking straight ahead which can put strain on the neck
• Forgetting to breath
If you are not sure how to perform the movement safely and correctly, ask a fitness professional.

Please note there is no real benefit of performing the plank for longer than 1 minute. Instead try to do different variations of the plank and also use a stability ball or suspension to add difficulty to the exercise.

A good exercise for the abdominals (rectus abdominis and obliques) is the crunch:

To perform a crunch:
• Lie down on your back. Plant your feet on the floor, hip width apart. Bend your knees and either place your arms across your chest or have your arms extended with the hands above the knees.
• Engage your abdominals
• Exhale as you slowly lift your upper body while keeping your eyes on a focal point and neck relaxed
• Lift upper body off floor until mid lumbar, hold for 2 seconds (ensuring you keep your mid to lower back on the floor).
• Inhale as you slowly return to the starting position

Common faults of the crunch are:
• Poor form and failure to engage the core muscles correctly is one of the main reasons many people suffer neck pain during abdominal exercises
• Using head, shoulders, arms rather than engaging the core and drawing yourself up, sometimes the body cheats to make the exercise easier. Slow the exercise down and concentrate on isolating the core.
• Utilising hips the belief is sometimes quantity over quality and as such some people lift the hips off the floor to aid the raising of the torso. Less is more…

A great exercise for the lower back, glutes and hamstrings is the Superman
• Lie flat on your stomach with your arms and legs fully extended
• Engage the glutes and lower back and slowly lift both your arms and legs simultaneously off the floor.
• keep looking straight ahead
• Hold this position for about 3-5 seconds relax then repeat

Common faults of the Superman are:
• Not engaging the glutes causing additional strain to the lower back
• Bending the arms or legs
• Rushing the exercise. Ensure you do the exercise slowly and controlled, do not force the movement
• If you feel like you’re straining your neck, stop and get your form checked out by a trainer if possible.

Regardless of whether you are within a fitness class or personal training it is vital to start slowly and engage the correct muscle groups while training.
I hold weekly Bootcamps and HIIT sessions and all exercises are adapted to the ability of the individual. First lessons free, come and give it a go!

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