Core muscles are responsible for holding the body upright and supporting every motion from sitting to standing, running to jumping. Developing core muscles is essential to good physical fitness and prevention of injuries in the gym. When focusing on core muscles it is important to understand the vastness of this muscle group.
The Basic Core Muscles
Basic core muscles include the abdominals and back muscles. These muscles are concentrated in the center of the body. Many people believe stomach and back muscles are the definition of core, but balance and total body support require strengthen muscles above and below body center.
Advanced Core Muscles - Finding Those Hidden Core Muscles
In order to understand just how far core muscles extend, a bit of exercise is required. Using a Bosu ball or two balance discs, stand erect with your hands over head. Slowly squat down until thighs are parallel with the ground.
As you move down, lower your hands to the front of your body. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then stand up slowly while raising your hands back to the sky. Repeat this movement at least 10 times, more if your legs are up to it.
During the movement, more than just the abdominal and back muscles are engaged in balancing the body. The morning following these exercises, most people will feel slight exercise pain in some brand new areas that they never considered part of their core.
Strengthening Core Muscles for Total Body Fitness
Once advanced core muscles are recognized, working out these muscles is much easier. The morning after you may have noticed slight pain in the upper thighs, calves, hamstrings, buttocks and shoulders.
Defining core muscles with these muscle groups included makes all the difference in the gym. Workout programs can be planned based on working core muscles in shifts. Upper body core muscle workouts one day and lower body the next.
Why Work Advanced Core Muscles?
While balance and injury prevention are crucial to total body fitness, the core muscles do much more than balance the body. When the core is strong, extra energy moves from the core out through the limbs of the body. This means stronger legs and arms without having stronger muscles in these areas. Energy literally explodes from the core muscles outward thus strengthening the core muscles will affect every aspect of your workout from cardiovascular fitness to weight training.