Incorporating functional core workout moves into your fitness routine can increase your core strength and posture and will help give you better form in other sports. Core fitness does not just mean doing crunches all day. Activities such as yoga or Pilates and Barre dance exercises will help create stronger core muscles as well. The following are tips to help improve core fitness:
1. Slow down your moves! Core fitness is not a race. You want to slow down and really think about each move and each muscle so that it can be performed with perfect form. If you don’t do the exercise correctly or try to rush through them, you will not obtain the full benefit from that motion. Moves that are done correctly do not take a lot of time to see improvement in strength and form.
2. Make sure your back is in alignment. You should not experience any lower back pain from core workouts. If you cannot tell if you are doing an exercise correctly, or if you experience any pain, contact a personal trainer so they can observe your form and show you how to properly execute the move if you are not doing it correctly. Sometimes moves need to be modified if you have an injury or are having problems getting into proper form. A certified personal trainer has the knowledge on how to modify moves so that you can still benefit from the exercise.
3. Be consistent with your core work! If you only do your workouts a couple of times a week, your progress will be slow. Compare it to a new diet plan. If you only eat healthy two days a week, it will be very difficult to see any results if any at all. You don’t have to go crazy and workout every single day. If you want to see changes, you have to be consistent. Athletes have commented that it takes about six weeks of doing a new exercise for it to become part of their routine. After about six weeks, you should be able to notice significant progress from your hard work as well.
4. Be open to changing up your routine! Many athletes get stuck in a rut. They have done the same moves for so long and they never try anything new. The muscles in our body adapt. What was once a challenge is no longer challenging. You need to change up your routine or add weights to it to make it a challenge. If it doesn't challenge you, it cannot change you. The occasional muscle soreness you get after a good workout reminds you that you have worked new muscles and that you are getting stronger.
5. Try a new activity! Many of the newer fitness classes at the health clubs and studios are core fitness based. Yoga, Pilates, Barre routines, and dance fitness classes are all fun ways to work your core muscles and get in a great workout.
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