…without working your core.
Spend enough time in a gym, and you see them: the common ab-seeker. They work for hours, days, months, and years at getting the perfect abs. You see them doing sit-ups, crunches, and every inverted and weighted version of these exercises without cease. They sweat and moan and groan, but their core is never quite what they want.
Believe it or not, that may be the result of spending too much time on their core. So whether you’re interested in getting that six pack that the magazines all say is necessary to be a stud or you just want to have a more stable core, a good way to begin is by dropping the core-specific exercises and doing things a little bit different.
Set Your Routine Free
In most gyms, there is an incredible amount of equipment. At one end stands the treadmills, sturdy and nestled next to the stair steppers and recumbent bikes. Then taking up the majority of the space is a wide range of exercize equipment. Full of pulleys and levers, these machines aren’t just cold hard steel. They’re also welcoming, thanks to the cup holders and power cords with which to charge your smartphone. And then, deep in the recesses of the gym sits relics of the past: free weights. The bars, plates, and dumbbells are crude and outdated.
However, this section of the gym is where your core will sore. The magic of free weights is that every movement you make with them requires more than one muscle to be used. At least when you use them right. What way is that? By standing up, sitting upright, or lying down. From the bench press to the miltary press to squats or rows, core stabilization required from free weights gives your core a workout. So hit the free weights and your core will come along for the ride.
Want nice abs? Focus on your body’s largest muscles, which are mostly found below the waist. To do this, go with squats, deadlifts, and lunges. And while you’re at it, don’t use pansy weights. Push yourself to up the poundage you can lift. You won’t wind up with frightening thighs. But you will build stronger legs and a better butt. By doing this, the extra muscle you pack on will help the other parts of your body muscle up as well—including those in your core.
On the Ball
Everybody remembers the first time trying out an exercise ball. It was kind of fun, kind of awkward, and lasted a kind of short time. Well, pick it back up, because anything you do on an exercise ball will work your core. Don’t like rolling around on your back on one of the oversize PE toys? Then don’t put your back on it. Put your butt on it. Whether you’re doing seated shoulder presses or tricep presses, doing it on the ball keeps your core engaged.
Not interested in being the ball boy or girl at the gym? You don’t have to be.
Bounce your exercise ball to your office and use it in place of your desk chair. Just sitting on it will work your core. At first, you’ll want to only use it an hour a day, as it will likely wear you out. But once your body grows accustomed to the core-tastic workout it gets while you’re answering emails, calling clients, and getting ready for a big presentation, you’ll be able to spend more time sitting on your exercise ball. You’ll also reap the rewards of working your core while working your job.
To the Core
Your core consists of the muscles located around your trunk and pelvis. Strong core muscles help tone your abs and improve stability, balance, and posture, making any physical activity easier. So what are you waiting for?
If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.
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