Archive for the tag - core

Video: Six Pack Secret Exposed!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been participating in YouTube’s Next Trainer program.

As part of the program, we get video assignments. Two weeks ago, we were charged with making a holiday-themed video – and so I made one about the worst holiday foods. This week, we had to create a core-themed video. While an ab workout would be the obvious choice, I thought it would be more interesting to explain why crunches and situps don’t necessarily result in a six pack.

Check out the video and let me know what you think!

Video: Plank Exercise to Strengthen Core!

Your core muscles inclue all the muscles around your pelvis and trunk (no, not that trunk). Strengthening those muscles should be a part of every fitness program, and it means doing more than the occasional sit-up or crunch.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are 7 important reasons to exercise your core. Strengthening your core:

  1. Improves balance and stability.
  2. Doesn’t require equipment.
  3. Helps build your abs.
  4. Makes it easier to do most physical activities.
  5. Doesn’t take a lot of time.
  6. Can be done at home – or anywhere else!
  7. Helps you reach your other fitness goals.

In addition, a strong core can help prevent lower back pain and improve your posture.

Now that I’ve sold you on the importance of core-focused exercises, my absolute favorite is the plank. It’s simple but challenging – and there are a lot of variations.

To do a basic plank:

  1. Lie on your stomach.
  2. Push yourself up onto your elbows. Feet should be hip-width apart.
  3. Contract your core muscles to hold this posture for 30 seconds – or more!

I made a quick and simple video to show you some of the variations you can do with the plank:

I’ve included a complete 20-minute core workout in my three-video Jock Workout fitness and nutrition program. Use discount code “blog” before June 7 to save 25% during checkout! Learn more and watch a free preview today!

How to: Training to Avoid Back Injuries Down the Road.

Bad backs and related injuries can be absolutely debilitating. They can translate to time out of work, sleepless nights and chronic pain. So it’s no wonder that people are very weary when it comes to their backs and exercise.

The reality is, the best way to prevent debilitating back injuries down the road is to train regularly. If you go to the gym sporadically – on and off, or just on the weekends – then you’re more likely to experience back problems than a regular gym-goer.

Because so many people fear future back problems, there’s a tendency to skip back workouts. Ironically, it’s one of the worst things you can do. Using weights and machine to train your core, back and lower back is hugely beneficial in preventing back problems – or aiding in a faster recovery. It has been proven that muscular development leads to shorter recovery times if back surgery becomes necessary.

In addition to muscular development, lengthening tight muscles through stretching also helps prevent back injury; spend a few minutes stretching after each workout.

And last but not least, allow for proper recovery times. Just like any muscle group, if your back muscles are sore from a previous workout, don’t exercise them again until they recover! Exercising an already weakened muscle is a recipe for injury.

Bottom line: To prevent back injuries down the road engage in a comprehensive strength training program that includes core, back and lower back exercises, stretch at the end of your workouts and allow for muscle recovery.