Core stability training is designed to strengthen your torso with its wide range of muscles from abdominal muscles, internal and external obliques and the muscles tat are running along the spine. Why should they need to be strengthened?
A balanced gym exercise routine to strengthen your core will not only improve your overall fitness and feeling fit, but also help avoid back and neck pain and even injuries that can result from weak muscle groups that do not give sufficient support to the bones. For this reason, many agility training programs are packed with core stability exercises.
One of the most important aspects of core stability training programs is that you need to address all muscle groups of the torso in a balanced way. Here are the five best exercises that will give you a good starting point.
- Straight Crunch. The straight crunch is the classic exercise that strengthens the “6-pack abs” portion of the torso muscles.
- Crossover Crunch. The crossover crunch is a great exercise that adds a twist of the upper body to the straight crunch movement. This strengthens the muscles that are on the side and front of the abdomen.
- Back Extension. The back extension exercise is performed lying on your stomach, and contracting the back muscles that run along your spine.
- Arm Sweep. Sitting down in a slightly leaned-back position, the outstretched arms are moved in a helicopter like circle, twisting your upper body back and forth around your hips. This targets the external obliques.
- Plank or Push-Up. Finally, the plank or push-up exercises address the “transverse abdominis”, the muscles that are lying in the depth of your abdomen, wrapping around the spine. These muscles protect and stabilize your spine most directly and are crucial in avoiding back pains.
When you mix up these five exercises in a balanced way, you will favor certain muscle groups in each exercise while addressing the “complete package” of core strength training. For best results it may be advisable to use a personal trainer, particularly when you first start with your core stability training. With the help of a trainer you can also venture into more advanced exercises to maintain good core strength.
Lastly, if you would like to learn more about core muscles and core stability exercises, I suggest that you read this article for more information.