In the world where everyone’s obsessed about looking like body builders or super models, the focus has always been on cardiovascular and strength training. There’s even growing trend that’s talking about how certain protein, steroids and supplements can form muscle bulks. Sorry, but in my blog, I do not cover any other methods towards fitness and health except figuring out sensible eating plans and exercise. No shortcuts here.
I have just gone through a book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Core Conditioning (Illustrated) by Patrick S. Hagerman.
The author talks about the importance of core conditioning, which according to him differs from yoga and Pilates. Core conditioning or known as function training are working on muscles that we cannot see. The core muscles- ie muscles in our trunk (not only at the abs but includes chest, back and hips) are what put us together and enable daily functions such as carrying things, balancing and posture.
Benefits of performing core conditioning exercises:
- cure /minimize lower back pain (but for those with injuries such as slipped disk, please consult help of certified trainers to rehabilitate the function of the body- don’t attempt to do it on your own)
- have better posture– slouching indicates there are weakness with the back muscles which can be corrected with core conditioning exercises
- better body stability and balance
- contributes to increased performance and results in our fitness/exercise plans.
- there are studies linking a strong core to stronger immune system and providing the body with a better fighting chance towards illness.
For those who do not go to gym, you may want to purchase this book or similar books. This book has lots of illustration, using real life models to demonstrate the posture. Proper explanation are given for each exercise. All you need to do if you want to embark on this exercise is a resistance tube, medicine ball and Swiss Ball. Detailed explanation are given on how to choose the right size and where to buy better quality ones.
My experience with core conditioning.
Looking at the exercises illustrated in his book, I realised the abdomen crunches on the Swiss Ball that I have been doing for these past months is one of the core conditioning exercise. Some of the core exercises are frequently introduced in Body Balance by Les Mills. I have find that these exercises are very beneficial to me. That’s why, even though crunches don’t give me a flat stomach , but the abdomen strength I feel is great- and when I do my cardio workout, my abs provide additional stability and support. My posture feels better, I can carry heavier things without strain. That’s why, I still make sure I do my crunches on the Swiss ball after every workout- slowly and patiently.
When you do these core exercises, you will not get that “thrashed out” feeling like when you do intensive cardio. You will not feel like you’ve had any intensive workout. But you will feel a well-being from inside out, strength and stability that really aids your other fitness program.
Note: Before you start any fitness program, please consult a physician. The author mentioned something very relevant- if you have high blood pressure and do not know it, the further elevation of your blood pressure from exercising may be potentially dangerous.