Old Palm News

Ken’s Korner: Let’s get to the “core” of the matter

December 20, 2011

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By Ken Macdonald, Fitness Center instructor at Old Palm Golf Club There are plenty of misconceptions out there about how best to work on the core muscles. Most people mistakenly think building strong core muscles will reduce the size of their mid-section, but that’s not the role of the core muscles. The real purpose of the core muscles —the deep, intrinsic muscles between the hips and shoulders — is to stabilize the spine and prevent extraneous movement. The stronger, the better, because weak core muscles can lead to muscle pulls, back pain and shoulder pain. Here are the three most common myths I hear about working on the core muscles. 1. “If I do more crunches, I will lose my belly fat.” You can’t spot reduce (lose fat) in any area of the body by solely focusing on it in your workout. Sure, resistance training can help build muscle, but you won’t notice the difference until you lose weight and decrease body fat by adhering to a proper diet. 2. “My core is weak, so more crunches and sit-ups must be the answer.” Crunches and sit-ups are NOT core exercises. Both exercises involve repeated spinal flexion. In fact, the movement of the crunch and sit-up is the same as that which causes disc herniations. 3. “My core will get stronger if I stand on a Bosu ball and do squats.” Most people try to stand on the Bosu ball too soon, which barely activates the core muscles. You should first learn to squat properly on your own two feet, and then move on to the Bosu ball, which when used properly can provide an advanced training method for balance and stability. Below are some examples of core stability training exercises I recommend: [gallery link="file" columns="2"]


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