Three Tips to a Stronger Core

There’s more to core strength than situps, crunches and six-pack abs. It all starts with the complex series of muscle groups in the lower torso and pelvis that are essential for balance, strength, flexibility and stability. How do you get the most from this important area of the body? Here are three straightforward tips to maximize your core.

social_post_2eBreathe for Strength

An activity as basic as breathing can be used to engage deeper core muscles. Lie on your back and bend your knees, placing one hand on your belly and the other beneath your lower spine. As you breathe in through the nose, feel your belly rise gently. On the out breath, let the belly fall and pull inward. Throughout the exercise, the pressure on the hand under your back shouldn’t change. This activity engages your transverse abdominis (TA) muscle located deep in the abdomen.

Perfect Your Plank

Protecting your spine requires strong trunk and pelvis muscles. To develop those, use the breathing technique discussed above in combination with a plank. Begin face down on your hands and knees and push yourself onto your toes and forearms to form a straight line with your body. Breathe steadily and focus on maintaining a neutral spine. Aim to stay in this position for one full minute.

Engage as You Lift

Engage as You LiftMany believe toned abs require loads of situps since the exercise primarily works the rectus abdominus, the abdominal muscle responsible for the chiseled six-pack look. But this muscle is superficial in comparison to the deeper TA and obliques. To activate these deeper muscles in daily activities like carrying groceries, breathe in as you prepare to lift. Then as you lift, breathe out through your mouth, draw the belly to the spine and tighten your abdominal muscles. Be sure to follow proper lifting techniques to avoid injury. A strong core is a crucial component to whole body fitness and performance. Keep these tips in mind to create core strength while in the gym or when doing everyday tasks and reach your fitness goals faster than ever.

TJ HOBAN
TJ HOBAN
Growing up in Little Italy Chicago wasn’t easy. My neighborhood was a lot like the movie Good Fellas. No joke. And lets just say I had no luck dating back then. I had thick glasses, braces, a funny hair do, and I was a runt. I couldn’t talk to a girl let alone get a date. Tired of being bullied and overlooked, I started training like I was Rocky fight for my life. Ironically, working out started as my coping mechanism, but evolved into a very successful career in fitness. Today, few things bring me a greater sense of fulfillment than helping friends empower their lives through fitness, the same way it empowered mine. I currently live in Los Angeles where I coach body transformations, and oversee my fitness and business endeavors.