I often get asked ???what???s the big deal about core and balance training???? To be honest, I think a lot of people misunderstand what is meant when they are told to train their core or do some balance work. Core and balance training is so much more than just doing some crunches or a plank. Preventing injury at any age is paramount to living happily and healthily and it can???t be achieved without core and balance training.
Balance work is another way to challenge your core and improve its strength and your ability to function on a daily basis and NOT sustain an injury. Have you ever known someone (maybe even yourself) who goes to do a simple movement like pulling a full jug of milk from the back of the fridge and pulled their back? Or maybe you???ve bent down to pick up something and felt sharp pain running down your leg? Often a twisting motion can cause injury too.
The word ???core??? refers to all the muscles in the abdomen, pelvic floor, side of the abdomen reaching up to the ribs, along the spine to the neck and down to the gluteus maximus. In order to adequately exercise these all of these various core muscles, one must do more than crunches. The best way is to challenge them with functional movement training. For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it engages the secondary core muscles that you use when you raise and lower yourself. Done slowly, with or without resistance, this movement is much harder than you might think. It will allow you to concentrate on keeping your core engaged during the motion, thereby strengthening it.
Balance training is often associated with the elderly. Their reflexes aren???t as quick as they were once and are more prone to tripping and falls. Many active and fit seniors include balance work in their weekly regimen as they recognize the benefit to preventing falls. However, its benefits aren???t limited those in their golden years. Athletes can continue doing the activities/sports/competitions that they love for many years without serious injury if their bodies can quickly adjust during activity. Through practice one can become accustomed to balancing on uneven surfaces, strengthening their core in the process and creating muscle memory for the motion. Then in real life, when they are caught off balance, they can catch themselves more quickly, more often averting an injury compared to those who neglect this aspect of fitness.
Here are a few samples of functional core exercises:
One Leg Squat
One Arm Plank
Lunge with knee in air
Try these today to challenge your core & balance!
About the Author:??Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of??www.Cardioblast.com??receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.