How to build a strong core?
If you are dreaming about strong core and six packs – you should focus on your posture first, not crunches! In addiction to eating well, you should focus on functional training and pay attention to these five muscles:
Have you ever noticed that your chin juts toward the floor when you hold a plank? Or that your head seems to lead when you do crunches? It means, that your neck muscles- specifically sternocleidomastoid and scalene are trying to overpower your core. To put the work back on your abs, pull your head in line with your shoulders and tuck your chin. And since the back of your neck is often tense and tight, release tension by laying down for a minute or two with two tennis balls placed at the base of your skull on both sides of your spine.
As per my previous post, if you don’t fill your belly with air every breath and most of us don’t- you are shortchanging your ab workout. Breathing shallow from your chest means you will never get optimal strength or power during movements squats, deadlifts and plyometrics. The diaphragm muscle sits below your lungs and it increases intra-abdominal pressure and thus adds to your core stability- especially when you are moving. Source: A wimpy diaphragm makes it tough for your body to stabilize your spine, which puts you at risk for pain, injury and poor performance during exercise, sapping abs-sculpting opportunities. Think of your abs and back as a cylinder and expand both of them as you breathe to more fully engaged the diaphragm. It the most important and effective thing you can do to improve your stability and posture. First, perfect the technique when you are at rest: Lie on the floor face up and take a big inhale. As you expand your belly from the sides, front and back, and then exhale as your TVA (transverses abdominis) wraps gently around your waist.
When you want to build a strong core, these fingerlike muscles along the sides of your ribs stabilize your shoulder blades. A sign that they are not firing is if your shoulder blades stick out or “wing” when you are in a plank. Strengthening them will make holding planks and powering through push ups much easier- and the muscle fibers themselves can make your midsection look supersculpted. To activate your serrates, pull in your front ribs. To toughen them up, hold a plank and press your palms firmly into the floor as you pull your shoulder blades apart. If its too hard- drop on your knees and perform the same exercise.
This hip flexor muscle runs from both side of your lower spine around to your pelvis and is (tight or weak) in most people. And a tight posts can turn off other muscles, including your abs and butt- meaning you are not getting the most out of your workouts. It may also tilt the pelvis forward, making your abs protrude and giving the appearance that you have a belly. You need to both! Stretch and strengthen your poses with this move. Kneel on the floor on your right knee with left foot flat in front of the right knee. Hands are on hips. Shift hips forward. Without tilting them up or overarching your back, so you feel a stretch through the front of your right hip. Hold 30 sec, then drive your right knee into the floors if you are trying to bring it forward )it won’t move). Hold for 10 sec, release. To stop your posts from taking over during your floor ab moves, don’t anchor your feet- instead place the soles of your feet together and open the knees to release the psoas.
When you want to build a strong core, we should think of adductors muscles ( your inner thigh muscles). When they work together with your abs (especially obliques) as they are meant to, they form a power house center that generates force from the middle of your body out. Usually, the adductors are iversude, because abs are weak and underused. To teach the adductors and abs to work together, they the Pallof Press. Anchor the center of a resistance band around a pole at chest height. Grab ends with each hand. Step away until the band is taut. Stand perpendicular to the band with left side facing the pole and legs staggered. Left foot is in front of right, to start. Hold hands together next to chest for four counts, slowly extend arms forward at chest height for four. Resist being puller to the left.