It seems that the #1 fitness goal of most men is a better body where they will be sporting six-pack abs. Whilst this is a respectable gym goal, the reality of attaining a six-pack is a bit harder than most anticipate. The importance of core strength cannot be emphasized enough in the world of sports and fitness.
By the way, your six-pack is not your core, but a part of it. The other components of your core are the following: hips, lower back, outer-middle back and obliques. The importance of each of these muscles and maintaining them is imperative to your balance and overall physical performance. If you were looking for how to get six pack abs in 6 minutes while in the bath tub playing with yourself, then there are over million related articles online for that. This is a guide on the importance of core strength.
Loosen Those Hip Flexors
Having strong functional hip flexors is crucial to our core. When we sprint or run, we engage our hip flexors to propel us forward. If they are tight, then not only you lose speed when running or sprinting, you are susceptible to knee pain, back discomfort and incorrect posture. Do you have lower back pain after bending over to tie your shoe? Do you have shin pain after a morning run? Those issues are probably due to tight hip flexors. If you sit at a desk all day, your likely got tight hip flexors. So how in the hell can you loosen tight hip flexors? Here are some exercises that will loosen tight hips:
Overhead Squat (start out using a broomstick to lift overhead)
Strengthen That Lower Back
Your back consists of several muscle parts so it makes sense that a part of it is vital for good core strength. It is a very common problem for men to complain of lower back pain. This is usually due to doing exercises incorrectly or lifting beyond capability. Your lower body supports your weight when you walk, run and jump. Take care not to hurt it, especially when doing abs exercises like planks. Your lower back will take the pressure when your stomach muscles give up so watch out for this! Here are some exercises to strengthen that bad boy up:
Deadlift (Use weight you can handle of course or end up like meJ)
Yoga (most yoga moves target the lower back)
Strengthen The Outer-Middle Back
In addition to the lower back, your outer-middle back (lats muscles) play a role in core strength too. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not identify the lat muscles as a core muscle; missing out on a big component in their pursuit for a stronger core. Nonetheless, if you started exercising to look good, then you should already be working your outer-middle back. Here are some exercises that strengthen that area:
Lat pull-down machine (normally don’t recommend machines but this one is effective)
Hit Them Obliques
While the rectus abdominals (i.e., six-pack abs) gets all the attention, the obliques or side abdominals are just as vital for core strength. The obliques are responsible for twisting and bending your torso from side to side. There are two parts to the obliques: the internal and external obliques. Together, they cross diagonally near the side of your midsection, from the bottom of your rib cage to your pelvic area. By strengthen your obliques, you also support your lower back, in which will help alleviate back issues and improve posture. Since there are very few exercises you can do to specifically target obliques,we will include a video.
How To Build The Coveted Six-Pack Abs
If we are discussing the importance of core strength, then the rectus abdominals or six-pack abs has to be included. Unfortunately, too many people confuse building them versus wanting to see them. To sum it up, everyone has abs (including your favorite obese uncle). Whether you see your six-pack abs or not is based on your body fat %, not doing endless amount of crunches. So if you want to SEE your abs, then you have to start and maintain a consistent caloric-deficit diet and exercise plan.
With that said, building the rectus abdominals is crucial for overall core strength. Their main focus is keeping your body upright when walking, running, sprinting and balance your weight when engaged in most exercises. From squats to pushups, you can feel your rectus abdominals working to keep gravity from pulling you down as you lift up. There are countless exercises that work your rectus abdominals, here is a video of exercises you can do at home.
Well there you have it. We can covered the importance of core strength and how to improve these 5 muscle groups with the workouts provided. Whether you are working out from home or hitting up the gym, these exercises will have your core fired up and burning fat!