Saturday, May 17, 2014

Workin' The Core

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I love the fact that the core is compiled of a set of muscles that can be worked Every. Day. That's right, typically you need to take a rest day between your weight training sessions but according to, Fitsblender.com:

 A toning style core routine can be performed 4-6 days per week once you have built up your tolerance for those exercises, but if you become overly sore you may need to take a 48 hour break to allow muscles to properly heal. Just make sure you take at least one day off each week, even if you never get sore.

When it comes down to it, your abdominal and core muscles are just like any other muscle group in your body and should be trained accordingly. The only difference is that abdominal muscles are particularly strong and can take a fair amount of punishment before they need to rest and heal, and they heal slightly faster than most other muscles, but only slightly. The main key to remember about how often to do abs workouts is that if it is sore, let it heal before you train it again, and even if it never gets sore give those muscles at least one day of rest a week.


And why is it so important to strengthen your core?

According to Harvard.edu, the real world benefits of core strengthening include:

  • Everyday acts. Bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, turning to look behind you, sitting in a chair, or simply standing still — these are just a few of the many mundane actions that rely on your core and that you might not notice until they become difficult or painful. Even basic activities of daily living — bathing or dressing, for example — call on your core.
  • On-the-job tasks. Jobs that involve lifting, twisting, and standing all rely on core muscles. But less obvious tasks — like sitting at your desk for hours — engage your core as well. Phone calls, typing, computer use, and similar work can make back muscles surprisingly stiff and sore, particularly if you’re not strong enough to practice good posture and aren’t taking sufficient breaks.
  • A healthy back. Low back pain — a debilitating, sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five Americans at some point in their lives — may be prevented by exercises that promote well-balanced, resilient core muscles. When back pain strikes, a regimen of core exercises is often prescribed to relieve it, coupled with medications, physical therapy, or other treatments if necessary.
  • Sports and other pleasurable activities. Golfing, tennis or other racquet sports, biking, running, swimming, baseball, volleyball, kayaking, rowing and many other athletic activities are powered by a strong core. Less often mentioned are sexual activities, which call for core power and flexibility, too.
  • Housework, fix-it work, and gardening. Bending, lifting, twisting, carrying, hammering, reaching overhead — even vacuuming, mopping, and dusting are acts that spring from, or pass through, the core.
  • Balance and stability. Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction, even on the bumpiest terrain, or stand in one spot without losing your balance. Viewed this way, core exercises can lessen your risk of falling.
  • Good posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into exercising, too.
Our core is just that, the center of our being, and without it, everything else will fall apart.



For great info on strengthening your core, join the Mamavation Hangout, May 19, 6 pm PST/ 9 pm EST. 




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