Should I start a core training program?

The buzzword Core Training is thrown liberally around the gym these days like rubber coated kettle bells. Savvy personal trainers will explain that Core Training is not one approach and does not fit neatly into one definition. The fitness training techniques vary greatly, yet the primary targets of this approach are clear. The abdominals (rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis) obliques (internal and external), lower back (erector spinae) and spine.

If executed correctly, this training can add new dimensions to your workouts—especially if it currently consists of a simple weight circuit and a run on the treadmill. So the staff of itrainelite have put together a simple list of the key benefits of Core Training. We hope that this will convince you to mix things up with a new core training program in in the new year.

Toned Abdominals and Obliques.

A “ripped six pack” is the most obvious benefit of core training fitness routines. These workouts have the potential of taking your torso strength to new levels in fitness and aesthetics. Yet it is important to note that simply doing sit ups is not going to be enough for most of us to reach this goal. Here is a much needed reality check. A six pack is as much about diet as it is exercise. So if you are yearning for that beach body, your core training program must also be combined with a reduction in excess calories (often in the form of sugar). Hey, even the best fitness routines can be sabotaged by a nightly tub of ice cream.

"Core training will improve the health and functional movement of the spine over time."

Reduction in Lower Back Pain.

Many of us live sedentary lifestyles. Even our professions require little or no daily activity to perform. Sitting at a desk 8 hours a day gradually weakens the core over time, reducing lumbar strength, lower body flexibility, and spine stability. Exercises that target your abdominals and lower back will increase the range of motion of your torso and reduce the likelihood of lower back pain and related issues. Additionally, core training will improve the health and functional movement of the spine over time.

Power and Strength.

Whether you are an athlete training to improve your sports performance or the average guy or gal looking to improve your overall strength, core training can work wonders for your performance benchmarks. Within the first 6 weeks of beginning a core training program, many respondents report vast improvements in their overall strength—not just their abdominal strength. One of the main core muscles (the Transverse Abdominis) activates milliseconds before we perform strength movement in the average healthy adult. When this muscle is activated, your body can both absorb and produce more power.

Age based benefits.

As discussed earlier in this article, a complete core training program will reduce lower back pain and improve overall strength. Additionally, core training programs improve the health of the spine and help maintain balance and stability. As we age, these key benefits become more important than a “ripped six pack” or large biceps. Another, often overlooked benefit of core training is its reduced occurrence of gym related injuries. Exercises that are controlled, bodyweight focused, and performed through a full range of motion, have a lower negative impact on the joints and muscles.

This short list of core training benefits is just the tip of the iceberg. We hope this article will spark an interest in you to move beyond one dimensional fitness training programs.