Your core strength is the most important thing to build if you want to get fitter and healthier. Your core is made up of all your muscles in the centre of your body: your stomach, lower back, your glutes, hips, and the tops of your legs. Without core strength, any other fitness activity will be harder to perform.
However, heading down to your local gym to get your core in shape isn’t an activity that many people enjoy. There’s a lot of grunting involved, for a start, and the competitive nature of the environment can scare many people off. With this in mind, we thought we’d take a look at some simple ways you can improve your shape without visiting your gym. Let’s get started right away.
First of all, building your core is all about building muscle. And, to build muscle, you are going to need to eat the right food. Protein helps promote muscle growth, so make sure you are eating plenty of eggs, lean meats and chicken. You can also use a pre-workout supplement before your session, and recovery drinks afterwards. Protein shakes will help you prime your body for the workout, and also help you to repair quicker when you have finished.
The very idea of crunches can reduce some people to tears, but you shouldn’t worry too much about them. If you take your time to build up your strength, you can build up to performing dozens of crunches every day without too many problems. Even a few minutes of crunching each day can have a hugely beneficial effect, so don’t be lazy and get started today! All you need to do is pace your feet against a wall and lift your head and shoulders off the ground and towards your knees. Hold your position for a few seconds and then repeat until you feel sick. Well, not really – but it is best to push yourself until it gets too much. No pain, no gain, as the beefy guys at the gym always say.
If you were worried about crunches, then the Superman will scare you senseless. Just lie down with your face towards the floor and stretch your arms out in front of you. Now lift them up with your head and feet at the same time. Only your stomach should be touching your floor at this point. Repeat until you can’t do anymore. And yes, you may cry.
Swimming is an excellent way to boost your core strength – but make sure you are doing an effective stroke. While an easily paced breaststroke will feel very relaxing, it won’t help improve your core. A front crawl is far more efficient; as long as you are breathing on both sides. The twisting motion of your body, as you breathe, will be a mini core workout, so push yourself as hard as you can go. Without drowning, of course.
And there you have it. After twelve weeks or so of doing these activities and eating the right food, you should find that your core strength has improved significantly. Let us know how you get on, and feel free to leave some more tips.