News

Fitness experts cut to the core, target the center of power

Fitness experts cut to the core, target the center of power

CORE: Adding in exercise routines to strengthen the core can help the runner go faster, the basketball player jump higher and the everyday exerciser more easily do routine tasks from loading the car to cleaning the tub. Photo: Reuters

By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Whether it is running, swimming, weight lifting or aerobics, fitness experts say the center of all exercise routines is the core – the abdominal, back and muscles around the pelvis – which is the seat of stability, strength and power.

Adding in exercise routines to strengthen the core can help the runner go faster, the basketball player jump higher and the everyday exerciser more easily do routine tasks from loading the car to cleaning the tub.

“The core is everything except for arms, legs and head,” said Daniel Taylor, co-author with Greg Brittenham of the new book “Conditioning to the Core.”

It is the mainstay of the body, according to Taylor, who is the head strength and conditioning coach at Siena College in upstate New York.

“People need to get away from saying ‘I’m going to do abs today’ and take a larger view,” said Taylor, whose book contains more than 300 exercises, ranging from planks, squats and lunges to medicine ball and kettlebell throws presented in progressive routines.

“A lot of times people get stuck in one or two routines and get good at them,” he said. “You’ve got to make things more challenging to keep progressing.”

Taylor said everything is linked to the core.

“If you jump it’s transferred to the core. If you want to be a better recreational running, strengthening the core will help because your anchor is better,” he explained.

The body’s girdle is how New York City-based personal trainer JR Allen describes the core.

Celebrity trainee Allen, whose clients include singer Mary J. Blige, said even the breath is involved in core work.

“It’s not about sucking in the stomach but about tightening,” said Allen, owner of 2 Day Be Fit. “If you watch a boxer before a punch, he’ll make a whistling sound. That’s to engage the transverse abdominals (the front and side muscles of the abdominal wall).”

Allen, a former body builder takes a personal approach to training.

“One of my favorite things to do is agility drills,” he said. “Squat jumps, alternating lunges with jumps and power skips: those types of dynamic movements target your core.”

Taylor said a mere 20-minute core workout, involving as few as four rotating exercises in a circuit, serves as a good warm up for most activities, from lifting weights to playing basketball.

“You don’t have to destroy yourself. You don’t have to do it for hours, you don’t need to exercise for a thousand repetitions. But if you keep doing it you’ll be stronger, better toned, with better posture,” he said. “And maybe your running times have improved.”

(Editing by Patricia Reaney)

Latest Stories

8 mins ago in Sports

Deflategate: Brady gets more time

Fresh
tombrady276076991807

Lawyers for the New England Patriots quarterback have been given another two weeks to appeal his "Deflategate" suspension.

18 mins ago in Sports

Kentucky Bourbon Trail offers a lesson for reviving racing’s fans

Fresh
derby16124571363511

Some of the best-known farms in Kentucky's scenic horse country are borrowing from another of the state's contributions to the good life — bourbon whiskey distilleries — in an effort to win new recruits to an aging and shrinking fan base.

21 mins ago in National

School safety: Drops in bullying, violent crime on campus

Fresh
schoolsafety16124794280762

The latest government snapshot of school crime paints a picture of safer schools, with declines in violent crime, bullying and harassment because of sexual orientation.

28 mins ago in Local, Local Sports, UVA Sports

Virginia Over Liberty For 6th Straight Win

Fresh
BaseballHat1

The Virginia Baseball team is rolling heading in to the exam break.

33 mins ago in Entertainment

Dan Aykroyd adapting ‘Blues Brothers’ for animated series

Fresh
danaykroyd391647313397

The animated project will also feature the band's original songs, as well as soul and blues classics, and new material recorded specially for the series, which Aykroyd will help to develop alongside "Saturday Night Live" writer Anne Beatts.