Strengthen Your Core in 4 Easy Steps
Want to build a strong core? Tired of crunches and sit-ups? Contrary to popular belief, these ab exercises are pretty much useless. The key to building core strength is to train your whole body. The deadlift, squat, pull-ups, dips, and other compound moves yield the best results. They not only tighten your core, but also burn fat and make you stronger overall. Here are a few tips to help you out:
The core has four different parts, including the rectus abbdominus, obliques, serratus, and intercostals. It is made up of fast twitch muscle fibers, which respond best to explosive moves. Thus, core training should include plyometrics and high intensity exercises in the 8-15 range.
Watch your form to prevent injuries and speed up your progress. Ask at your local gym about personal training services. An experienced trainer can show you the best core exercises and lifting techniques. You will lean how to do reverse crunches, hanging leg raises, jackknife sit-ups, Russian twists, and other complex moves targeting the core muscles.
Focus on Compound Exercises
Every time you do squats or push the bar off your chest, your core muscles work hard to maintain your balance and stability. Compound exercises target nearly every muscle and make your core stronger. The overhead press, squats, Romanian deadlifts, and farmer’s walk produce the best results, so include them in your routine.
Try Plyometrics Training
Research shows that plyometric training increases the efficiency and strength of the fast twitch fibers. Explosive moves, such as box jumps, plyo push-ups, burpees, and lateral box shuffles, improve your power output and build a strong core. These exercises also boost the efficiency of the neuromuscular system, leading to greater speed and endurance.
Add Planks to Your Routine
Touted as one of the best core exercises, the plank strengthens your abs and helps build a solid foundation. When done regularly, it improves your posture and sculpts your core. Depending on your fitness level, you can try regular planks, side planks, reverse planks, single-leg plank, and other variations.