Core Strength? Not So Fast
So you want a strong, sexy core, eh? Join the club! With millions of Americans in pursuit of core strength, why do we see so few good looking cores on the beach and so much back pain? C’mon, isn’t the proof in the pudding?
Let’s cut to the chase. We don’t see many strong cores because most people don’t understand how to properly train their core.
First, let’s define core strength. Your core is everything but your arms and legs. Strength is your capacity to resist and/or produce a force. But the irony is your core will actually use your arms and legs to both resist and/or produce a force. So the core really is your whole body, isn’t it?
Now that we understand what core strength is, next we have to understand how to create core strength.
Any attribute we choose to develop requires one thing: movement. So before we strengthen our core, we have to lengthen our core. Think about throwing a ball. Before you throw it, you have to reach it back, which “turns on” the muscles that help you throw it. Therefore, you need to lengthen (prepare), in order to strengthen (perform).
So, a lack of core strength is typically a lack of core motion. This happens for a few key reasons:
1. Core strengthening exercise takes precedence over core mobilization movements
2. Ground-based core movements don’t carry over well to upright core strength
3. Americans simply sit way too much
The best way to start your core program is to mobilize (specifically move) your midsection.