Friday, February 3, 2012

5 Baby Steps Towards a Strong Core

If you haven’t heard it already, there are many benefits of having or developing a strong core. For example, daily activities become a little easier; getting out of bed, playing with your kiddos, and maybe playing golf, if you’re lucky enough to have the free time. Oh, and you look awesome at the beach.
Another very handy side benefit of building your core strength is that it will help prevent back injuries from occurring during exercise. Increased core strength will also spill over into increased overall body strength, as it will allow you to use more weight in your resistance training!
Now that we know all the benefits (hello BEACH), here are a few baby steps to help start your way to creating (and maintaining) that summer bod!

1. Planking - okay, maybe you don’t need to take pictures, but work Planks (prone and side) into your workout routine. Hold each position for 20-30 seconds to begin and then work your way up to 1-2 minutes.
2. We all think that core is just another word for abs, however our true CORE encompasses, all the abs (upper, lower, transverse) AND hips, lower back, and pelvis. So exercises like Prone Swimmer and Side Leg Raises are great.
3. Add two sessions of cardiovascular training to your weekly routine. Try to get at least an hour of cardio in per week; you can break that down into as little as 20 minute segments.

4. You utilize your core for most exercises, even when you may not realize it. The next time you are doing squats or biceps curls, take a second to check that you are engaging your core. This bracing of your midsection will not only help prevent injury, but also increase your core strength.
5.  Check your diet. Yep, you knew that was coming, didn’t you? If you’re not eating healthy the majority of the time, the majority of the time you spend on fitness will be a waste! It’s your choice. Come back and see us for some great healthy recipes!

Have a great weekend and I'll See you on the beach!

~ Samara

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