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CORE 101

DID YOU MISS OUR CORE 101 CLASS TODAY?
HERE IS A RECAP:

**WHAT IS THE CORE?
Most people think the core refers to only the abdominal muscles and how we can get a "six pack." In fact, the abdominal muscles are only a small part of what makes up the core. To build a strong core, you must exercise a variety of muscles from your hips to your shoulders. The core muscles are responsible for stabilizing the spine and the pelvis and creating a solid base of support. When we have a strong core, we are able to generate more powerful movements of the extremities. 

The core muscles are what make it possible to stand upright and walk on two feet. These muscles help control our movements, transfer energy from our core to our arms and legs, shift body weight, and move in any direction. Dynamic core strength should be the goal. Dynamic core strength allows us to stabilize our spine against different forces, maintaining a neutral spine during the movement. A strong core also helps distribute the stresses of weight-bearing amongst the many muscles of the core, protecting the back.

**BENEFITS OF A STRONG CORE

A strong core reduces back pain
Imbalances in strength and flexibility of the core muscles are linked to low back pain. Weak core muscles result in the loss of a neutral spine and can lead to swayback posture. The tighter hip flexor muscles tilt the pelvis anteriorly while the weak gluteus maximus muscles cannot counterbalance to tilt the pelvis back to neutral. Weak back extensor muscles are not strong enough to erect the spine against gravity to maintain an upright posture. A stronger, balanced core helps maintain appropriate posture and reduce strain on the spine
A strong core improves athletic performance
All powerful movements originate from the center of the body out, and never from the limbs alone. Because the muscles of the trunk and torso stabilize the spine from the pelvis to the neck and shoulder, they allow the transfer of power to the arms and legs. The more solid and stable the spine and core, the more power can be generated from the extremities. Power can be generated to the arms to throw a baseball, hit a golf ball, or stay on your feet while wrestling. Power can be generated to the legs for sprinting, jumping, and cycling!
A strong core improves postural imbalances
Postural imbalances can lead to injuries. The biggest benefit of core training is to develop functional fitness: the type of fitness that is essential to daily living and daily activities. With a strong core, our daily activities will be performed with more control, less fatigue, proper posture, distributed loads, and less pain.

**WHAT ARE THE MUSCLES OF THE CORE?
CORE CONDITIONING PROGRAMS SHOULD TARGET ALL OF THESE MUSCLE GROUPS TO BE EFFECTIVE







Core strengthening exercises are most effective when:
  • The torso works as a solid unit and both front and back muscles contract at the same time, as in the PLANK exercise
  • Multijoint movements are performed (such as a squat, lunge, or push up)
  • Stabilization of the spine is monitored
  • Abdominal bracing is emphasized (pulling navel to the spine)

**WHAT ARE THE BEST CORE EXERCISES?
  • Plank
  • Side Plank
  • Push Up
  • V-sits
  • Squats
  • Back Bridge
  • Reverse Crunch (Hip lift)
  • Oblique twist
  • Plank on a stability ball
  • Lunge with a twist
  • Supermans
LOOK FOR THESE EXERCISES ON YOUR 30 DAY CORE CHALLENGE CALENDAR (POSTED BELOW)

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