Core has become a magical word in the fitness world . Core training seems to have the answer for all our fitness woes. Core training sounds great but how to and how much do you do?
Core simply put is a group of muscles which form the body’s center. This helps to support the lower back during all our day to day activities. Its main function is to help us maintain good posture. These muscles are a group of big muscles which work very close to the spine. Hence their work or more often weakness is felt only after an injury. Core is often overlooked in our exercise routine or exercised insufficiently. Another issue faced by most of us is that we dont know how it feels to use the core .
A simple technique is to breathe out and pull your navel gently to your spine. You would fell your pelvic floor muscles tighten and your hip bone would roll backward . If you are on your back you can feel your lower back round and flatten on the mat.
Once you have felt this now you can add this technique below to put the correct amount of pressure.
Imagine that you have to pass urine just breathe out enough so that you can slow down the flow but not stop it.
We all tend to hold our breath while doing any forceful activity believe me its unnecessary when training your core.Breath holding builds up a lot of pressure in the abdomen causing a lot of stress to the lower back. The idea is to only gently use the lower back muscles .
Another question frequently asked is whether to keep the tummy tucked throughout the day.As simple it sounds it can be very tiring so here is a simple trick .Initially you can perform tuck in for a period of 30 sec to 1min ,2-5 times every 45 min to 2 hours. Slowly as the muscles strengthen activation will happen without your conscious thought.
How frequently should i train my core?
Isolated core training can be done 1-3 times per week depending on your present fitness level and training goals.
I hate slow mat work can i do anything else?
Core is best done at a slow pace to help you isolate and feel the movements but if it is not sustainable you can try any body weight exercises like jump rope, hula hoop, cable and resistance band exercises to name a few.
Keep exercising .. keep it fun