Friday, September 10, 2010

Core Training

One of the most common weight loss exercises I see people doing at the gym is the crunch. People will do hundreds or even thousands of crunches every single day! People do crunches when they wake up in the morning and when they go to bed at night. There are abs classes that are loaded with crunches. So why do most of these people still have a lot of belly fat?

Core training is not about doing a lot of crunches. It is about strengthening your core to provide a strong center for your body so you can lift things and support yourself in a healthy manner. Crunches do not do this.

Crunches are not a functional exercise. The only thing they do is make your abdominal muscles bigger. They are great for the bodybuilder and pretty much no one else.

The crazy thing is you can grow your abdominal muscles without crunches.

The best core training exercises are the plank, side plank, and bird dog. These hit the stabilizer muscles of your spine and lower back very hard. They are great for protecting your lower back during your workouts and everyday activity.

If you want great abs, these three exercises will help, too. In addition, you can throw in woodchops and reverse woodchops to work the obliques. You can add stability ball or ab-wheel rollouts for a concentric contraction to hypertrophy the abdominal muscles. You can also add a cross-body mountain climber for a great, dynamic core exercise that is also great for conditioning.

Don't do crunches. They are useless and put strain on your lower back. Strengthen your core the right way instead. And experience new levels of health and fitness as a result.

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