Core Strength Training - Sit Ups Are Not Enough!

By: Darvin J. Hooey

Your core is the foundation of every move your body makes, and it is therefore crucial that everyonetakes part in some form of core strength training. Most assumethis to mean you have to do a bunchof sit ups, but sit ups are only the tip of the iceberg! This article is written to try to clear up some of the misconceptions people have about what their core isand what the proper way to train itis. By training your core the proper way, you have the opportunity to improve the quality of every type of move your body makes. That's how importantyour core is!
What Does the Core Consist Of?
The core is morethan just your abs. You have to come to grips withthis before you can create an effective core strength training program. Many define the coreas all muscle groupsfrom your groin to your shoulders, including your chest. While this seems reasonable, my list will not include the chest. Here's the restof the major muscle groups of the core:
Hip Muscles

  • Gluteus maximus, medius and minimus: your behind/hip area

  • Hip flexors: front of pelvis

  • Pectineus: top inner thigh

Spinal Muscles

  • Erector Spinae: run along your neck down to your lower back

  • Multifidus: run under the erector spinae


  • Rectus Abdominis: the front of your abs, your hidden "six-pack"

  • Obliques: front to sideof abdomen

  • Transverse Abdominis: run under your obliques and around spine

Core Strength Training Benefits
As As previously stated, your core is the foundation of all of the movementsyour limbs make. Here's a short list of some of the real-life, athletic benefits of core training:

  • Improved balance and stability (like a house, a stronger foundation, creates a stronger structure overall)

  • Better body control

  • Greater movement efficiency

  • Greater power in your movements (i.e., more explosive)

  • Reduced risk of injury (your reduces the effects of force and impact on the body)

  • Better athletic performance

This is not an articleabout lower back exercise specifically, but lower back pain and injuries can frequently be attributed to insufficient core strength training! With that said, what's an effective way to train your core?
Core Training Exercises

  • Balance/Stability ball Exercises

  • Balance board work

  • Back Extensions

  • Sit-ups

I am proof positivethat these exercises absolutely work, but you might not have the equipment you need, or you may be sick of doing sit-ups! If this is the case for you, or you simply prefer at home workouts, here are some less traditional yoga moves you can use to strengthen your core.
Less Traditional

  • Bridge Pose

  • Revolved Abdominal Pose

  • Leg Lifts

  • Half Boat Pose

  • Plank Pose

  • Bow Pose

These exercises can be done at home without equipment and are excellent for core strength training purposes. Aside frombeing the most effective core training program I've used, yoga also increases flexibility, strength and coordination throughout your body! If you are truly interested in full body fitness, you should read my article on yoga for beginners.

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If you truly wish to succeed at being in the best shape of your life, then you must visit the world's best resource. Go to Next Level Yoga immediately, to see how easily it can be done with at home workouts!

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