Most men who work out on a regular basis are primarily interested in building up their arm and chest muscles, but it is always worth remembering to work on the core as well.
The core refers to the center of your body and because it is involved in pretty much every movement you do in your day to day life, it is obviously vitally important.
Reasons To Work On Your Core
Most people think that the core is all about your abs. However these are just one part of your core. The main area consists of the rectus abdominis, the inner and outer obliques, the erector spinae, the glutes and the hamstrings, which is clearly quite a large area that is worth paying attention to.
Failure to work on this area of your body could ultimately lead to a host of problems, including lower back pain, posture issues (round shoulders, curvature of the spine, etc), poor performance in sporting and leisure pursuits and poor balance generally.
You may even find that in the long run your feet become out of line because as a result of weak glutes, the femurs can start to rotate outwards and eventually cause your feet to rotate outwards as well.
A good strong core is essential if you want to maintain good posture, both when you are seated and when you are standing up. The same applies when you are using an indoor exercise bike, for example, because if you have a weak core, you won’t be able to maintain an upright seating position for very long.
Similarly when cycling up a steep hill, a strong core is required to remain stable and force through the pedals, but people with a weak core will really struggle.
A strong core also helps with various different sports as well. For instance, contact sports such as football, rugby and ice hockey all demand a strong core in order to fend off any challenges from your opponents, whilst a well-honed core will also help in sports that require any degree of stretching, twisting, jumping, throwing or rotating, such as golf, basketball and volleyball.
Exercises That Will Help Develop A Strong Core
So by now you are probably wondering how you go about developing a strong core. Well if you are like many people, you may well assume that ab crunches will do the trick, but these will only target a small part of your core.
The key to success is to combine your basic crunches with a number of other exercises in order to target every single part of your core, such as the obliques, glutes, rectus abdominis, hamstrings and erector spinae.
So here are some of the exercises that you should be doing as part of your core workout:
- ab crunches
- planks with leg raises
- stiff-leg deadlifts
- alternating supermans
- hanging knee raises
- medicine ball Russian twists
- side dips
You can do these one after the other (in any order you wish) because they are not overly demanding once you learn how to do each one with proper form, and you only need to do this workout 2-3 times per week in order to start seeing results.
These routines incorporate movement patterns that you might use in your everyday life, and target all areas of your core.
Therefore this workout will not only help to correct any imbalances, but will also strengthen this whole area and help you perform better and maintain proper posture in everyday life and when performing various different sports and activities. Plus if you maintain a low body fat ratio, you may well see some visible results as well in the form of honed six-pack abs.