Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Motivations - Back to the Core

In order to succeed in fitness, each athlete (no matter their trade) needs a strong core.  The core is not only the abs and obliques and a sweet 6-pack, in fact the abs are only a small portion of a greater system.  The core includes your hips, glutes, hip flexors, etc - all different muscles (complex and simple) that support and stabalize your spine and pelvis. states that:

The core muscles also make it possible to stand upright and move on two feet. These muscles help control movements, transfer energy, shift body weight and move in any direction. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back. Core conditioning exercise programs need to target all these muscle groups to be effective.

A "Core" is defined as "The basic or most important part; the essence" (thank you - so why not make more goals specifically around strengthening and supporting the core?  We work on speed, hills, upper body/lower body weights, cycling - and only sporadically do we include emphasis on core work.  

On Friday, my sports chiropractor asked me to take the entire week off to rest my legs, they are not seeing as much progress as he would like to see with the ART and graston techniques he has been trying, and he is thinking it is due to the fact that I am still training for my February half marathon while undergoing treatment.  I am obliging him with this request, because I want to see progress, I want to move forward with less aches and pain and in my legs.  During this time, I will be focusing solely on the core and upper body - I will not be doing moves that stress the hips and legs as much as the upper core - abs, shoulder girdle and low back.  

I was in awe of these two videos and am using their core strength abilities to motivate me to concentrate and focus on the core and staying off my legs this week.

The first is from an equinox blog post - where one of their own performs early morning flows with incredible grace, core strength, and skill:

The second I found through Kara @ Mile High Maven (please excuse the title of the video- it isn't graphic, just hypnotizing - although I would not watch it in a conservative office)

Do you dedicate specific workouts to your core strength, or do you just incorporate moves into your day-to-day workouts?

I try to attend core specific yoga classes and go through my at home Windsor Pilates DVDs occasionally.  It is amazing how many runners have weak hips though - so since my eyes have been opened to that through injury, I am trying to get more serious about it!


  1. I totally need a whole lot more! I try to get it into my workouts but it needs a lot more planning on my part!

  2. Oh I totally agree that the core is so incredibly important. I work my core 3 days a week and seriously swear by planks. They really do work anything and are easy and quick.

  3. ok so I wasn't going to tell anyone this....but I used to take pole fit and I have a pole in my basement ;) I should really put it up and get back on it. I need core!

  4. so i saw this video when Kara put it up over christmas break, I made my entire family watch it- so impressive

  5. Hi Danielle from your newest follower and the Colorado Ragnar team :)

    I have specific workouts with P90X and P90X2 that primarily target the core.

    [Fitness, Health and Happiness]


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