One of the most popular questions we get from new clients at IFAST is:
“When do I get to start training my core?”
Naturally, people assume that if they aren’t doing crunches, sit-ups, etc., that they aren’t training their core. Unfortunately, many of us have been conditioned to think that exercises that move our abdominals or midsection are great core training options.
Unfortunately, these exercises aren’t only sub-optimal – but they could be injuring us as well!
If you dig in and read a bunch of geeky anatomy textbooks (which I’m not ashamed to admit I do!), you’ll see that the core and low back isn’t really designed to move all that much. Sure, there is a healthy amount of motion there, but often when we use traditional core training exercises, we are exposing our lower back to injury by creating too much motion.
This is hard for many people to understand as well. We’ve always heard that flexibility is a good thing, but that’s not always true.
Just like too little flexibility can hurt us, too much flexibility can hurt us as well. (Yoga and Pilates ladies, I’m looking at you.)
Instead, we need to focus more of our efforts on what are called core stability exercises – or exercises that prevent movement at our core and low back.
And when we consider that as our definition of core training, our clients are often shocked to see that their entire program is developed around training the core!
Regardless of whether your goal is to get bigger, stronger, lose body fat, or become a better athlete, the core literally ties together our upper and lower bodies. Rather than seeing how many crunches you can do in a minute, I’d rather see how well you can plank or do a push-up. Those exercises give me feedback as to how well your core is tying your body together.
And if it’s not?
Well, I can tell you this much – you won’t be achieving your goals nearly as quickly or as efficiently as you could if your core was working optimally.
If you’d like to learn how we do core training at IFAST, and how proper core training can help you achieve your goals faster, please e-mail us at [email protected], or give us a buzz at 317.578.0998. We’d love to schedule a free consultation where we can show your our gym and answer any questions you might have.
Have a great week!