Having a strong Core helps us improve our performance in sports. In this article we explain some exercises that will allow you to improve your fitness.
If we translate the word Core from English, we will see that its meaning is similar to nucleus in Spanish, to something central or essential. If we translate this into an anatomical context, it is not surprising that the most central region of our body is called the Core. When we talk about the Core when we refer to training, therefore, we are talking about the abdominal and lumbar area, mainly. In short, the entire lower and middle region of our trunk.
This anatomical area is essential for maintaining good posture. It contains several muscles whose function is to support our body, so keeping it in optimum condition will help us to be in good health from an anatomical point of view.
On the other hand, a strong core will also allow for better sporting performance, as most of the forces we exert have a biomechanical origin in the centre of our body. Hitting a ball with the foot in football, taking a powerful stride in running or pedalling hard in cycling, for example, are gestures that clearly help to have a stronger abdominal and lumbar area – Core.
That’s why we bring you 4 fundamental exercises to keep your core strong, for your health and also for your performance in sport. These exercises have the added advantage that you can do them at home, with almost no need for equipment and no need to go to a gym. It couldn’t be easier.
Progression of 3 exercises to be performed with Kettlebell, making circles with the Kettlebell above the head and then moving it describing a figure eight around the legs and crossing between them. Finally, perform the movement of getting up to stand up and stretching the floor again, keeping the weight always elevated with one of the arms always stretched out.
Always perform the movement in a controlled manner and without jerky movements, with the kettlebell always close to the midline of the body.
Great muscular involvement, core area, but also arms and legs, especially in the last of the three exercises.
In a prone plank position. Perform progression, firstly by remaining in the base position, static. With your knees and elbows on the floor while keeping your torso straight. The next progression is to move from knee support to foot support, thus increasing the tension to be supported. The third step is to raise your feet by placing them on a low step or stool, which will put more weight on your arms and trunk. The fourth evolution is to start lifting the legs alternately. The next step is to simultaneously raise the arm and leg on the opposite side and repeat the operation with the opposite arm and leg. Finally, if you are able, you can try to rest your feet on a wall while your arms rest on the floor with your elbows.
Involvement of spinal extensors such as the iliocostalis, longissimus or spinous, as well as the quadratus lumborum, glutes and, in short, the entire abdominal muscle group.
This progression of exercises is based on the plank position. The first level consists of resting your elbow on the floor and your knee on the same side, so that you are lying diagonally on the floor. The evolution of this exercise is to lie on your side again, but this time keep your elbow and foot on the same side on the floor, holding your body stretched out, uncovering a triangle with respect to the floor. The next step in evolution is to move from a static to a dynamic position, raising the hip up or down while keeping our lateral elbow and foot support fixed on the ground.
The fourth level consists of resting your feet on a raised surface such as a step, bench or similar. The two higher levels, if you feel strong enough, are to raise the arm opposite the support, making slight trunk rotations to mobilise this arm and finally, from the same position of side plank, raise the leg opposite to the support upwards and stretched out.
The greatest activation is provided by the oblique muscle, which surrounds the abdominal area laterally, as well as muscles with a stabilising function such as the spinal extensors, quadratus lumborum and gluteus muscles.
This exercise requires the use of an abdominal workout wheel, an item that you can easily buy in any physical or online sports and fitness equipment shop. The basic movement starts from a kneeling position on the floor and leaning forward to rest your hands on the side supports of the wheel. As we drop our weight forward, the wheel will roll, taking our hands with it and causing us to stretch our arms and lengthen our arms and our stance forward. Once we have reached the maximum controlled extension of the arms and trunk, we must do the reverse movement, shrinking the trunk by rolling the wheel backwards. Perform movements in a controlled manner.
Dorsalis major, lateral serratus and rectus abdominis mainly. Quadratus lumborum, spinal extensors, gluteus muscles.