Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | November 5, 2008

Work your core

I feel so lucky to have witnessed a truly historic moment. Obama ’08. Wow. I’m extremely excited to be saying this phrase as a reality instead of as a wish. I’m hopeful about the direction this amazing country is going to take, and am eager to see what positive changes lay in our future.  It was so thrilling to hear random people celebrating on the streets last night, to hear people honking their cars, and to see so many smiling faces. I wish to say a sincere “thank you” to all who voted.

Onto my Tuesday workout:

I did the same workout as Friday. I did:
16 minute abs (8 minute abs X 2)
Level 3 Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred
Level 1 Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred

I find that this combination is a killer workout. The 16 minutes of abs thoroughly heats me up, and works my inner most core muscles. This provides a great warm up for the more intense circuit-style training in 30 Day Shred. Level 3 consists of exercises that use body weight and plyometrics, and Level 1 consists of using more hand weights. For me, this works all my muscles, from the inside to the outside, gets me drenched in sweat, and it’s in 3 20-minutes-ish segments, so is easy to handle and deal with. A great total-body workout.

I wanted to take a moment to digress and explain the importance of working the inner muscles, and why I’ve been doing a lot of yoga core work lately.

Stabilzation

Stabilzation

See, the core is where your body’s center of gravity is located. All movement begins from your core. Having a strong core is essential for maintaining balance whenever you move. The core has a stabilization system and a movement system comprised of different muscles. Both systems need to work in sync for you body to move efficiently. Ideally, each muscle of the core will work to distribute weight and absorb force.

This means that, do be able to function efficiently, we need to work our core muscles from the inside out; work the inner-most stabilization muscles before working on our outer movement muscles (like the “6 pack muscles.) It’s like, you wouldn’t start building a sandcastle without first making a firm and stable base, would you?

The problem with most people (myself included) is that we have built enough power and strength in our core movement system to go about our daily lives, but don’t have strong enough stabilization muscles. This is a problem because if the movement system is stronger than the stabilization system, your body senses an imbalance, and your body starts to find ways to compensate movement. This leads to inefficient movement, which can eventually lead to pain and injuries.

That’s where yoga comes into play. The slow, controlled movements of the boat pose, or plank pose, works your inner most core muscles like the internal obliques and transverse abdominis. The slow tempo is important, because holding a pose at a slow pace places demand on the connective tissues and muscles to better prepare your body for functional movements. This makes for a great foundation for strength and power to be built upon.

slllllooooowwww and steady

slllllooooowwww and steady

So long story short, you can’t just do an endless number of crunches. Not only do you need to work all 5 parts of your core (transverse abdominis, external and internal obliques, rectus abdominis, and your back), you need to do stabilization exercises as well to get as strong a core as possible.

Sorry if that was confusing, but thought I would explain my recent exercise philosophy. Which begs the question….

Question: What is your favorite abs exercise? What makes you feel like, “Yeah, 6 pack abs, here I come!”?

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Responses

  1. I just found your blog! Another DIVINE present (the first being LAST NIGHT’S WIN HOLYMOTHEROFG-DYAYYER!!!).

    I totally agree with you on Yoga- I do it religiously… My body totally tells me when it needs it haha it’s great and I’ve never been stronger or had a stronger/more toned core. And it’s SO easy to bounce back to core strength with yoga because Yoga builds SO much on Muscle Memory 🙂

    Have a GREAT Humpday and I LOVE OUR PREZZY!

  2. I hate when people use the word core to describe their abs or back. abs and back are superficial, your core is the deep muscles that protect your organs and spine- thats why its so important to strengthen it!

    Kelly Turner
    http://www.groundedfitness.com

  3. Julz-
    Thanks for visiting my blog and happy humpday to you too! So good to ‘meet’ another yoga lover 🙂

    Kelly-
    did I get the info about working your core right? Thanks for your input! 🙂


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