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For many the core is simply their abs but in reality the abs are a small part of what is really meant by the core. Essentially the core is made up of a number of different muscles that stabilise the spine and pelvis and run the entire length of the torso.
As such these muscles are really important as they help control movement, shift body weight, transfer energy and protect the back. For your core to be well conditioned you need to target all these muscle groups and not just your abs.
You will find that this list varies according to different ‘experts’ but the most commonly agreed ones are-the rectus abdomens, commonly known as the 6 pack, erector spine, multifidus, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus, hip flexors, gluteus medius, minimus and maximus.
A strong core will help with the posture and health of your spine. And, as powerful movements originate from the centre of the body, the more strong and stable the spine is then the more powerful the rest of you will be.
Some good core exercises require no additional equipment at all. For example exercises like the plank, basic push up, side plank, squats, back bridge, oblique twist and sit ups will help work your core and all you need for them is a mat and some space.
But you can add to your core workout by introducing some equipment that essentially will challenge your balance which in turn will help strengthen your core.
The following gym equipment will help build up your core strength.
These include wobble boards, boss boards and balance boards. Essentially the way they work is that you are required to try and balance on them (which is difficult as they wobble!). This requires you to stabilise your core muscles and the joints particularly around the hip, knee and ankle. You get a very good core body workout and have fun at the same time.
As with the balance products listed above, the science here is the same. If you need to get your body balanced and this is challenged by the introduction of a ball then you will be helping to stabilise and strengthen your core muscles. Medicine balls could also be helpful here.
In addition to the above equipment you could also consider taking up yoga, Pilates and tai chi and again the need to balance in these activities will help work your core strength.