This is a guest blog post from one of our coaches, Coach Joe McGlynn. In this post, Joe goes over the importance of actual balance and how it is directly involved with your core training. Enjoy!
Instead of boring you with the fine details right away, here are some general questions to ask yourself about how your body feels before your read this article:
- Do I feel like my body is NOT activated through the warm-ups I do?
- Do I feel off-balance during exercise and general activity?
- Do I feel a lack of strength when I’m training or even when I’m doing simple jobs around the house?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, there is a high chance that you are lacking core stability and strength. Better yet, you may not understand what your core musculature is and how to activate it for your benefit. If you are unfamiliar with topic, let’s dig a little deeper into how you could better yourself for the long-term.
Core training is one of the most important components to any strength training program. What most see as an accessory to squat and deadlift variations, coaches and trainers see as a major factor in performing those highly active exercises. Our core musculature is essentially the glue that keeps our upper and lower halves working in unison to not only perform the highest demands of exercise, but to also live our daily lives as healthy individuals.
Whether your long-term goal is to become a better athlete or to develop a better fitness background, core training should be a staple in your training program. Every movement that you perform is dependent on the ability to maintain stability through that movement. This would not be possible if you did not have core musculature to do so. Unfortunately, many individuals have a large deficiency in core strength and maintaining a “balanced” lifestyle is more difficult than it seems.
Our core serves as a stabilizer and distributor of force through any given movement. Whether we are casually walking or bracing ourselves for a push up, our core is actively engaged. Upon any given stress that requires your body to move, your core muscles are active to ensure that your spine is protected. This activation alone allows us to maintain proper posture during different movement patterns, including ones that we perform in our daily lives.
For adults, core stability and strength can be very underdeveloped. Due to certain jobs and lower levels of exercise participation, many adults have natural core activation patterns taken away from them, especially with jobs that require sitting for multiple hours. Adding aging into the mix, core activation becomes more difficult if your activity level is on the low end. Core training for an adult is important for creating a foundation in which core stability and strengths can be maximized.
Here at Unity, progressions within core exercises are a staple to every training program. Whether you are just beginning your fitness journey or are a seasoned veteran, core exercises will ultimately be a guiding force in everything you do. By incorporating core training into your training program, you can ultimately learn how to activate you core musculature as you develop a baseline of fitness. Then and only then can higher levels of fitness be achieved through a more stable body that is prepped to become more dynamic in nature.
As we look at the big picture, just relate to your own life. Look at the demands your job brings you and most importantly look at the activities you love to do or wish you could do. You might not think of something such as core training as life changing, but if you work hard enough at it, anything can become life changing if you want it to. So, if you seeking to find that true “balance” in life, ask yourself the questions above. They may just keep you upright doing the things that you love.