Peace, Love Core: 6 Tips for An Amazing Core
We’re all striving toward similar #fitnessgoals, right? We’d all love to rock the toned core of a Sports Illustrated model, but how do we get there? Combining a balanced diet with dedication in the studio can get you closer… but it’s working hard and thinking actively during your workout that will bring results! From the source itself, our instructors have laid out all the secrets for you to help get there that much faster.
Don’t worry, these tips will only increase the amount of lactic acid attacking your muscles. We promise it’s worth it! When you see these results, the pain will be totally irrelevant.
It’s important to fire your core muscles throughout your entire workout. One way to go about that is to try a few activation exercises (ab exercises) at the beginning of a strength workout so that the abdominal muscles will fire more frequently. Also try to engage your core during your Krank cycle class or even if you go for a run around the block. Long story short… try to suck in your abs throughout your entire workout even during your cardio workouts and you will build a much stronger core.
Flex your feet in bicycles, mountain climbers, or leg leg lifts to really work your lower abdominals.
I am in love with side v-ups. Lie flat on your right side with legs together and slightly forward. Put your right arm on the mat and left hand behind your head. Crunch up in a V, getting up on your hip and butt. Keep your legs straight. It targets your obliques and lower abs, what more can you ask for! I like to compound this with side plank dips. That’s a guarantee for sore abs the next day!
Ok, for functionality, lower back safety, and the quickest and most efficient way to decrease your waistline without actually losing any weight, training and properly engaging the transverse abdominis, (TA) is everything. If you’ve ever heard a trainer or coach shout something along the lines of “engage your core!”, this is precisely what they are talking about. It’s the deepest of the core muscles, and the only one that forms a continuous sheet around your entire midsection (it literally looks like a girdle women used to wear). The more you engage it, during all movements, the stronger and tighter it becomes and thus the stronger and slimmer you do. The way to engage it, while contracting any muscle group, is to exhale your belly button into your spine, while simultaneously bracing for someone about to push you…and voila! You’re engaging your TA!
Engaging your core is essential, and it’s as simple as stabilizing your body while on a bike or during a core-focused strength class. It’s important to remember that over-engaging or clenching your abdominals while cycling or strength training can be counter-productive to your power and performance — aka your calorie burn! Excessively contracting your abdominals leads to constricted breathing. Oxygen is the primary fuel for muscle movement, and by constricting oxygen, you’re limiting the main power source for your lower body muscles.
Correct core training is fundamental to physical fitness. A strong core promotes muscle safety and strength. Although many of us are drawn to core exercises for those six-pack abs, strengthening the core goes much deeper. There are almost thirty muscles involved in our core and together they enable our body to function as an integrated unit. These muscles start at the spine and goes all the way down to the body’s hip joint. In yoga, “firing up the belly” is important because not only does that engagement strengthen a person’s abdominals and preventing injury, it also creates a self-awareness for the practice on the mat and off the mat. Having a strong core helps with balance, breath improvement, digestion improvement, as well as lowers visceral fat around the belly which can lead to heart problems and certain cancers. Being aware of these benefits gives an athlete more power to engage their body as they explore new feats of strength and performance.