Buzzwords come and go in health and fitness, but core stability (whilst seemingly a buzzword like Callanetics or Jazzercise?) seems set to stay for the long haul. Core stability is not only a crucial component of just about all sports activities, but also of good health itself. Core stability means good posture, a trim, flat stomach, and a healthy back, three things we all aspire to. For the athlete, core stability means having the strength and control to perform your chosen sport to the best of your abilities. So how do you achieve it?
Simplified greatly, you are looking at a range of exercises for the abdominals
and lower back. The great thing about working these areas is that there are probably more options and a greater variety of different exercises available for the abs and low back than just about any other part of the body.
All good ranges of resistance or weight machines have a number of machines that work either the abs or the low back. However, because of the static nature of these exercises, it is recommended that you do other non-machine exercises to supplement these.
For most people, working the abs or the low back will mean working either on a mat or an swiss ball
. If you are unsure of which exercises are best, it is well worth talking to a personal trainer
- there is a big difference between the effectiveness of various exercises, and even the possibility of injury if you perform exercises incorrectly.
One workout that has been grown dramatically in popularity over the last five to ten years is Pilates - this exercise system is based upon the strengthening the muscles of the abdomen and lower back, and for those who take to it, is an excellent way of improving muscle tone and posture in this crucial area.