They always say give credit where credit is due right? So today I want to give a shout out to one of our clients who gave me both the topic of this blog and the title. As I was going to write my blog I was trying to think of a topic people would want to read about but I was stuck. I decided to ask a few of our clients what they would like to read about or any questions they have.
Karen came up with such a great answer I knew right away I was going to write about it. She said “How to get the benefits of sit-ups without doing sit-ups”, genius I thought!
Most people think that sit-ups are the secret to losing weight around your midsection and a rock solid core. Now if you have been following us for a while you understand that no matter what exercise you do you can’t target fat loss and you must focus on your nutrition in order to lose weight.
Training your core to get stronger however, is still an important part of your workout routine and overall health. However, if you are like Karen and most people you hate sit-ups.
Good news, you do not have to do a single sit up to get a strong and healthy core.
So what do you have to do instead? Today I will outline 3 key things you should focus on to get the strong core you desire.
Learn To Breathe
Now I am not going to dive deep into the anatomy and science of breathing but I want you to understand breathing is the foundation of a strong and happy core. If we don’t breath well it will be nearly impossible to get the most out of your core. When we take a deep breath in our ribcage should expand and when we exhale our ribcage come down. Can you guess what brings our ribcage down? Your right! It’s your core muscles. If your core muscle can’t do that they are not doing their most fundamental job. Breathing is an important part of training that is often overlooked.
One exercise that will help you breathe well and strengthen your core is something we call Rainbow Back Breathing.
- Start with your knees on yoga blocks
- Walk your hands out and drop down onto your forearms
- Slowly push through the ground with your shoulders
- Tuck your tail like a sad dog (Your back should look like a rainbow)
- Take a silent inhale and then exhale like you are trying to make the sound of wind
As you exhale you should think about bringing your ribs up towards your back and feel a lot of abs.
Another function of your core muscles is to help stabilizes your spine as other parts of your body move. So how do we replicate this in the gym? Simply we will use different tools and positions to challenge your core muscles to keep your spine still. We will use tools and positions against you to make your body want to move but you must use your core muscles to keep everything nice and still.
One exercise we will use is a Push Up Plank with Shoulder Tap. Now, this exercise is an advanced exercise but if performed correctly can be a great exercise to increase your core strength.
- Start in a Push-Up position (Elevate on boxes if needed and feet wide)
- Tuck your tail like a sad dog
- Slowly lift one hand off the ground and tap your opposite shoulder
- Keeps your hips as still as possible
Always Use Your Abs
One of the biggest mistake I think people make when they are trying to get their core strong is only focusing on direct core training and ignoring your core doing everything else you do in the gym. The good thing about our core muscles is that they are pretty much always working. With that being said most people in the gym ignore their core unless they are doing a direct core exercise. If you are performing exercises such as a squat, deadlift, or push up our core has to work.
If you know what a good plank position is you will know what a good finishing position in the squat, deadlift, and push up are. They all look the same.
One exercise to really dial in your abs is the goblet squat.
- Hold the kettlebell by the handles out in front of your body like you are drinking from a goblet
- Sit down between your heels
- Drive through your heels and stand up tall and tight
- Tuck your tail at the top of your squat like a sad dog
If you follow these 3 tips you will get the strong and healthy core you dream of! Now, this is not to say sit-ups are inherently a bad exercise. If you absolutely love sit ups and think they are the greatest exercise ever who am I to tell you to stop?
If you are asking me what is the best and most efficient way to train your core I would recommend following the tips outline above.
If you have any questions or are looking to get the most out of your core please give us a call @ 203-914-6396 or shoot an email to email@example.com