Top 10 tips for a killer core
posted on 26/03/2018 6:00:00 PM
BY DAN JONES PHOTOGRAPHY BY DALLAS OLSEN
The majority of people who train at the gym, on the track, or on the field focus on endurance, strength, and sports-specific exercises. However, they neglect one of the most important muscular areas of the body: the abdominals. Nothing screams ‘fit’ to me like abs.
Your core is quite a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond your abs, including everything besides your arms and legs. It is incorporated in almost every movement of the human body. These muscles can act as an isometric or dynamic stabiliser for movement, transfer force from one extremity to another, or initiate movement itself.
Although abdominal workouts can be tedious, they are a crucial part of any training regime. As the weather warms up and layers come off, not only will you look good, making you the envy of all of your friends, but having strong abs also provides you with a number of health benefits.
There’s more than just vanity behind having a six-pack — a lean mid-section can add years to your life. Strong abdominals, obliques, back, and core will assist to stabilise and protect your spine. This becomes increasingly more important the older you get. Also, the stronger your abs are, the more you are able to work from your core, reducing strain on your back, which means you will avoid injury.
Rarely will you complete an exercise that does not include the use of abdominal muscles. Your abs are necessary to connect your upper and lower body to complete an exercise with excellent technique.
Your core is more than just your abdominal muscles: it’s your body’s dynamo.
Not only does it facilitate movement, but it also houses your inner organs and central nervous system. In other words, it assists you to do pretty much everything in day-to-day life. A strong, healthy body will not only turn heads on the beach, but you will feel great as well.
Here are 10 reasons for you to work on developing a strong and healthy core, along with 10 ways to do it this autumn.
10 benefits of a strong core
- A stonger abdominal area supports your spine, hence you will be able to lift heavier.
- You are less likely to suffer from lower back pain and chronic back injuries.
- If you are slimmer or have a flat stomach area, this will increase your self image.
- A strong core will naturally make you more confident.
- You will increase muscular endurance; therefore, there will be quicker recovery after a workout as well as a decrease in your resting heart rate.
- Stronger abs means you will have more muscle, hence you will burn more calories when in a resting state, keeping that unwanted fat off.
- Less fat around the waist decreases the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood LDL cholesterol, and diabetes.
- Strong abs, along with strong hip flexors and a tight erector spinae, will improve your posture.
- There will be less pressure on your hips, ankles, and knees as they will not be overworking due to an unstable body.
- You are less likely to suffer from a hiatus hernia, as the abdominal muscles will have no weaknesses.
Top 10 tips to abs
Perform resistance training (lift weights)
Reistance training, also known as weightlifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass. Strength training not only allows us to engage our core, but it is also beneficial for belly fat loss.
Do aerobic exercise (cardio)
Yes, the dreaded ‘C’ word. Cardio in the form of aerobic exercise is an effective way to improve health and burn calories. However, results are mixed regarding whether moderate-intensity or high-intensity exercise is more beneficial.
Reduce your stress levels
Stress can not only make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, but can also decrease your self image. To help reduce cortisol, engage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods.
Follow a high-protein, lower-carb diet
Your diet is essential in building any kind of physique. Although there are many different theories and methods on meal frequency, eating smaller meals more often may help the average person avoid overeating and will curb hunger.
Drink plenty of water
If you are completely hydrated, your fat-burning rate will be optimum. To speed up the metabolism, drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day.
Modify your abdominal routine
There is no such thing as the perfect abs routine. However, changing your abs routine will assist in maximing the results. It’s important to remember that your abs will show the most development through change and confusion, as opposed to stagnation
Monitor your frequency
It is important to train your abs consistently and effectively. For me personally, I train my abs at least three times per week and implement at least three or four different ab exercises for 20 to 30 reps per set. Find what works best for you and implement this into your trainoing
Watch allergies and intolerances
Food allergies and intolerances can cause gas and bloating. But these need to be confirmed by your doctor. Many people self-diagnose these conditions and unnecessarily eliminate healthy dairy and whole grains from their diets. If you suspect you have an allergy or intolerance, see your doctor for tests.
Try multiple approaches and change your lifestyle
If you do just one of the items listed so far, it won’t have a big effect on its own. If you want serious results then you need to combine different tips and methods that have been shown to be effective. Interestingly, many of these techniques are associated with healthy eating and an overall healthy lifestyle. So keep it simple — changing your lifestyle long-term is the key to a great set of abs and a strong core.
Believe in yourself
If you believe you can do it, you will do everything necessary in your power to attain that goal. Your mind will help guide your fitness goals, and if that fitness goal is to attain great abs and a strong core, then, provided you work your butt off, it will happen for you.