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Building Your Core Strength

by Fitness, Health

One of the great benefits of a robust strength training program is the improvement in core strength. A regiment focused on performing compound movements with heavy weights will demand much of the muscles in the core and trunk.

While it’s easy to only associate our core with thoughts of a 6-pack, its stability is actually key to all of our daily movements.

You see, the main function of our core muscles is to stabilize and protect the spine. With every step we take, the muscles of our core are activating to maintain posture, help us breathe, control our gait, and more. The stronger your abdominals and surrounding muscles are, the better their ability to fight rotation and extension; movements that could place the spine in a precarious position.

increasing stability

One of the best ways to build the core is to relate our training to the true function of our abdominals.

Cue bracing.

Bracing is a technique where we tighten all the muscles surrounding the abdomen. This helps to stabilize the spine and torso. Understanding and mastering this small but mighty technique will improve all your other strength-training exercises in a big way.

Learning how to activate these muscles during compound exercises doesn’t happen overnight. Properly bracing your trunk and core before performing a lift takes a lot of practice, time, and intentional proper application of effort. 

But, the effort is worth it and the benefits are unmatched. When we squat with weight on our back, or pull heavy weight from the floor, our trunk and core should be firing hard, resisting excess movement, and providing us with a true “foundation” for exercise.

stronger core: stronger potential

A strong, flexible core underpins almost everything we do. It’s time to take our focus off of a 6-pack and onto a plan for overall core strength.

If we are missing core stability, we are not only limiting our strength potential. We are putting ourselves at higher risk for injury.

This is why a great coach won’t make you lie on the ground and only do sit-ups or crunches. A great coach will make your core strong through use of “anti rotational” and stability exercises, plus strength training. Exercises such as deadbugs, birddogs, hollow holds, heavy deadlifts, and farmer’s carries will help us activate multiple parts of our core, and are pillars for success.

By focusing your strength program on ALL of your core muscles, and not just your abs, you are setting yourself up for the long-term. You’ll be better able to not only perform your daily tasks, but keep pursuing the active lifestyle you love.

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