I started my exercise journey in the 80’s in the era of big hair, neon outfits and headbands. The one who sweat the most won, heck we even wore plastic pants and shirts over top of our lime green leggings and called them sauna suits. Yes you lost up to 2 pounds at each workout but that was entirely water weight and was gained back by the time you had downed your water bottle on the way home from your class. We did hundreds of sit ups and held the plank for minutes at a time with the goal of getting six pack abs and reducing the muffin top. We wanted to look good and gave very little consideration to the structural benefits of building core strength.
Fast forward 35 years. We still want to look good but we also want to move well and safely and combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
The second most frequently voiced goal by people wanting to join our CrossFit LifeTree community is to build a strong core and most think that the best way to achieve it are sit ups and the plank. At CFLT we believe that there is a much better way to build core strength and it is a lot more fun than high repetitions of somewhat boring exercises.
Without getting too technical here the core is made up of stabilizing and moving muscles that connect the upper to the lower body. You may have heard the term core to extremity and that simply means that if our core muscles initiate the movement we have the best chance of executing it efficiently and safely.
At CrossFit LifeTree we believe that constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement is the best way to develop a strong core and we do that through running, jumping, throwing, climbing, pushing and lifting. Although we do sit ups from time to time at CFLT we want to help you strengthen your core in an upright position as that is where we spend the majority of our time. Sit ups will help us get up out of bed in the morning and the plank may help us when we are looking for something under the couch but the majority of the time we need our core strength for picking up heavy objects or placing our luggage in the overhead bin on the plane.
So in a nutshell CrossFit is the best daily exercise program to build a strong core. For a beginner we recommend three sessions a week but the goal is five to six sessions to achieve the optimum results from our programming. Your coach will be constantly reminding you to brace your core during the workouts and instructing you to reduce the load or intensity if your core stability is compromised.
Here’s to a stable future,