Hello all, it’s me again!
So, if you’ve been paying attention lately to popular media, the terms “core strength,” and “core stability” have been thrown around a lot lately without a whole lot of explanation. Contrary to popular belief, core strength has very little to do with how many sit ups you can perform. You may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with The Beast on the Bay, Alicia??” And here’s my answer. . . Everything!
The muscles of your core are not solely made up of your transverse abdominis and oblique muscles as many may believe. The core is made up of the abdominals, gluteals, back, and even the muscles of your chest. All of these muscles work together to help balance and stabilize movements performed by your body.
Why is your core so important??
The word core itself should give you an indication of its importance; the muscles of your core are at the center of your body. All movements essentially begin from your core: reaching over head, bending over to pick something up, sitting at your desk to type up a blog, and the list goes on and on and on! It is very important not only in your training, but in your life to train your core muscles. Four out of five American adults suffer from back pain and often the cause is from overly tight or very weak core muscles. The core stabilizes, supports, and protects the spine if they are not strong enough to perform their job properly, leaving room for injury. So, needless to say, your core strength is going to be extremely important when completing and defeating The Beast on the Bay!
How do you strength your core??
In order to strengthen your core, you must challenge your core muscles. A great way to do this is by strength training, using body weight or weight bearing exercise will challenge the muscles of the core to grow. Performing compound movements such as push-ups, squats, and lunges teach and train the muscles of the core to not only grow, but also to work together and stabilize your body. This will aid you in your performance at The Beast on the Bay and also in your daily life
In addition to some of the exercises I named above, here are a list of core exercises you should be doing at least 1-2 times per week:
- Plank variations
- Side Planks
- Modified Plank
- Push Up Plank
- Glute Bridge
- Bird dog
- Windshield Rotations
- 6-inch hold
The importance of including strength and core training into your Beast on the Bay training is undeniable, but people tend to forget to take what they do in the gym home with them. Being aware of your posture throughout your daily activities is pertinent for a strong, healthy core. I teach my clients to brace their backs by imagining themselves pulling their belly buttons towards their spine. A way to do this while at work is to swap out your office chair for a stability ball. It allows the spine to stay in its neutral position unlike a chair, which forces a tilt in your pelvis, ultimately affecting the position of your spine and weakening the core muscles because they are not working to support your bodyweight.