At Fitness on the Run (FOR), we define the core as all muscles between the hips and the shoulders. Below are the top four reasons for a strong core and (5) different movements performed by our superstar strong trainers Erica Morales and Remi Rory.
During any movement you make through the day, even as simple as getting out of bed, you use your core. A strong core supports every portion of the most mundane of tasks: carrying groceries, picking up items off the floor, getting off the toilet.
When your core is weak, you begin to feel simple movements in other places, like the lower back, neck and shoulders. Think of your mid-section as the part of your body you WANT to use instead of relying on less sturdy parts of the body not intended for that use.
“Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball or mopping the floor, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it”. (Harvard Medical School, Harvard health Publications)
For those of you who want to be fit, or more fit, a strong core is the central ingredient leading to a strong body. It all starts here. Have you ever admired a fit body with a soft core?
Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction and is preponderantly responsible for your body’s ability to balance itself in case of an unintended push, trip or fall.
A weak core contributes to slouching putting undue strain on the spine. Proper posture projects confidence and helps contribute to a strong back which can aid in a pain free existence.
Now for the fun part! Beyond concentrating on using your core for strength during daily tasks, below are our top (4) choices for getting strong and fit:
Glider single leg or 2-leg mountain climbers. You can use the more expensive version or you can buy furniture pads with a smooth bottom and perform them on the carpet. No turf necessary. Most important: make sure you place you hands underneath your shoulders, not your head, and keep your shoulders back as if you are pressing them into your armpits.
Hollow Hold (video #3) rolls. Start with Hollow Holds with no rolls pressing your lower back hard into the floor. The Hollow Hold should be performed after you have progressed to being able to hold for 30 seconds, try to roll without allowing your head or feet to touch the floor (like Erica performs in the video). Also try (not pictured) Hollow Hold rocks where you rock “up and down”
(The Hollow Hold is a foundational tension drill we use at FOR while you lay on the floor, stand holding something – or not, and aim to get you to hold that position for your daily tasks.)
Remi performs another variation of the Hollow Hold here having some fun with a dynamax ball. Yet, master the Hollow Hold before placing any load in your hands. We find that if you master the Hollow Hold, fun additions like this keep the mind off the burning core!
Plank, walking plank, robot plank, the options are countless! Here, Erica is performing a walking plank. Yet, master the hard style plank before adding in any extraneous movement or loads. And, of course, as strong as she is, Erica makes the push ups, another HUGE core movement, look easy as pie.