We all want more core strength...
and we've probably tried many many methods to get it.
this list could become as long as a 6 year old's Christmas list.
We 'know' that core strength means we'll look better, be stronger and have a back that hurts less.
I'm not interested in giving you a long detailed piece on what core strength actually is. I'm more interested in you upgrading yours.
That said, we do need a loose definition to work forward from.
Let us say that core strength is your ability to use the large muscles around your centre to make your centre as stable as possible.
Funnily, core strength will come from core mobility...
but that's another story for another day.
We want the muscles of the abdomen, back and hips to be fully functional, doing what they do well.
Let's just focus on the muscles along your front right now.
Your abdominals bring your front ribs and the front of your pelvis closer together.
Your hip flexors bring your upper thigh and the front of your pelvis towards each other.
These are the primary muscles you would use during exercises like sit-ups and planks...
the same exercises that with some people bring about lower back pain.
If the core muscles are working properly, these can be done pain free.
The lower back muscles need not be involved and without being taken to extremes, the lumbar vertebra and discs aren't put under any significant increased demands.
Pain and weakness in these exercises tends to be more from your muscles working poorly than being weak.
So, getting those muscles working properly will instantly make you stronger at those exercises.
Working with a client recently for improvements around scoliosis and a shoulder issue, she said the following:
"...Arton helped me with exercises that made me more straight and much looser in my whole body. The second session he solved my 10 year shoulder problem in under 3 minutes - that must be a new record! The sessions with Arton not only help me to understand how my body works and that I have to key to a pain free and flexible life but they also make me a better rider and give me better core stability - my Pilates and plank improved big time!"
The next time you do a plank or crunch, pay attention to the following:
do you feel tension or hard work in any muscles that do the opposite of what your abdominals or hip flexors do?
If you're experiencing pain or weakness in core exercise and can feel your back or ass muscles working overtime while doing them, they are possibly interfering with your core muscles trying to do what they do.
Give yourself a massage over your 'interfering' areas and do your exercise again.
You may have instantly made your core stronger.
Doing this regularly can help you retrain yourself to use the right muscles for the right activities. (You can find out more tips like this by signing up for free here.)
That's the key to real core strength.
Arton "Rewire your abs" Baleci