10 Tips To Strengthen Your Core

More important than ever if you can't get outside

Of all the body parts that have become hyper-fashionable to maintain in the last few years, it’s been your “core.” And as overbearing as some of the “core” messaging has become, it’s a welcome change from the obsession of having “six-pack abs”.

As much as a reflection that rippled abs might be of well maintained core muscles, focusing on the structural benefits of  latter is a far better than merely the visual benefits of the former.  If there is one physical attribute (of the many) that connects cycling with off-road motorcycling, it would be the importance of maintaining good core conditioning.

Recently, our friends at Motocross Action Magazine created a 10 point checklist for their readers on hos to maintain good core strength. So, we decided to borrow the story to offer to RBA readers.

THE TOP TEN
(1) Most people think of their abdominal muscles when they think about strengthening their body’s core; however, your abs are only part of your core. Actually, your core is your entire body, minus your arms and legs. Your core is the bridge between your extremities. If your core is weak, the bridge will collapse, resulting in weak arms and legs too. If your core is strong, your body will work as an integrated unit and your whole body will be strong. Your core is the foundation of all your body’s movements, whether it is walking or riding. Bottom line: a weak core results in an unhealthy body.

(2) Your core supports your posture, balance, spinal column and agility and is important for general back health. The core aligns the spine, ribs and pelvis to help resist outside forces, whether hammering a whoop section or just sitting up in bed.

(3) Life isn’t as physically demanding as it was decades ago. Thanks to modern conveniences, life has become easier and people have become much more sedentary. We spend most of our lives in the car, at a desk or in front of the tube. Sitting is not exercise, and lack of exercise weakens the core.
(4) There are approximately 30 different muscles that make up the body’s core. All of them work as a unit, but there are a few that play vital roles in the core’s function. These muscles are the pelvic floor, diaphragm, longissimus thoracis, transversus abdominis, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis and erector spinae.

 

(5) Since most of the core muscles are in the midsection of the body, people tend to focus their attention on that area. This might seem like common sense, but it is fuzzy logic. Popular exercises such as crunches and back extensions are isolation movements. These exercises only target a few of the nearly 30 muscles of the core. By focusing on these “open-chain exercises,” you are not only missing out on a major function of the core but also better strength gains, more efficient movement and greater longevity.

 

For the rest of your core strengthening tips,  head to Motocross Action.

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