It's the week of Thanksgiving and this holiday has us thinking about our stomachs like no other- specifically stuffing and flattening it. Like Miss Cleo and her tarot cards, I hear people all week long predicting that they will do some serious food grubbing and calorie consuming during their Thanksgiving feasts.
They don't even need to be psychic to predict that they will stuff themselves, because they have already decided it. Thus it will come true.
While recovering from our Thanksgiving hangovers we immediately shift our focus from stuffing our stomachs to flattening them.
In the fight for a flat stomach, core training has gotten much attention as a strong weapon. Along with proper nutrition, cardiovascular training, strength training, and stress management; core training is an effective means for strengthening this area of the body.
Core training is not just sit-ups and crunches, think of it in two different types of focus:
Core Stability -works on gaining control of the body's core muscles and spinal alignment (specifically the arch of your lower back) while using only minimal movement.
Stability exercises are typically isometric (tension in the muscle without a change in length of the muscle) in nature and some examples are planks, bridges, and opposite arm and leg reaches (pictured below).
2. Core Strength - works on using the muscles of the core to produce force and is characterized by movement at the spine.
Strength exercises are the usual abdominal exercises you think of like variations of crunches, twists, knee and leg raises, and sit ups.
The majority of our core programs are dominated by the strength exercises when we need to incorporate more core stability exercises.