Every day we see new gadgets and gizmos hitting the market that make our lives easier. What in the world would we do without television and video games or without cell phones and computers? Technology helps us in all facets of life. It enables us to get a lot done without ever having to leave our chair. No wonder our country has the highest obesity rate in the world! Our activity levels are plunging! I still remember when I was a boy; I had to actually get up to change the television channel! I also didn’t have an automatic garage door like I do now. What about a couple more generations back? My grandmother used to have a garden where she worked half the day growing fruits and vegetables. Burning calories to eat healthier food… Who would have thought! Now we drive up to fast food windows buying food that is far times worse!
“As times change, so should the way we work out!”
Thirty years ago, if you were to seek a personal trainer, you were trained by a bodybuilder who only knew how to train other bodybuilders. Now that’s fine if you have only one goal. Today’s gym clientele is as diverse as the people walking through your local mall! With diversity comes more specialized training. I’m sure we’ve all seen those different colored workout balls in the corner of your local gym or that funky half ball that people are always standing on trying not to fall off! What could possibly be the purpose for such awkward equipment? These simple devices are designed to work the muscles in the body that we neglect due to technology. Even the equipment in the gym you may be using may not be challenging the muscles that make up our core.
What is core training?
The list of muscles that make up the "core" is somewhat arbitrary and different experts include different muscles. Just think of your core muscles as the muscles in the body that aid in balance and stability. The primary muscle is the transverse abdominis, or TVA. This muscle acts as our, “internal weight belt,” so to speak. It’s also the muscle that determines how soon you’ll need a walker when you’re older! Below are some workouts to challenge your core while keeping you on your toes!
Maintain position for as long as you can up to 2 minutes. 3 - 5 sets. *Use this at the end of your workouts to really challenge the core!*
Alternating Dumbbell Press
Perform an alternating dumbbell chest press. 8 – 16 Repetitions. 3 – 5 Sets. *Be sure to keep your head supported by the ball while bridging your torso up and parallel to the floor.*
Perform a crunch with the ball in the small of the back. 12 – 25 Repetitions. 3 -5 Sets. *Follow up with a ball plank to really feel the burn!*