Monthly Archives: December 2014

Effective Core Training is the first step to a Stronger Complete Body! Part #4

In this last post I would like to share with you some of the exercises we use with our clients and ourselves to activate the many different muscle groups that form The Core.

Since the majority of our Core exercises are done in a functional way, many other muscle groups: shoulders/chest/back/hips/legs… are effectively challenged, creating a stronger connection between the different muscle groups.

And we have found that using effective breathing patterns while doing these different abdominal exercises helps activating the inner core muscles as stabilizers for the spine.

Variations of the Knee Tuck exercise:

The different knee tuck variations (stability ball – gliding disks – TRX …) targets your core stability and strength in a very functional fashion. Adding less or more stability – rest on elbows or hands; two legs or only 1 leg, makes this exercise a very appropriate challenge from beginner level to more advanced


Front and side planks

The front and side planks are excellent exercises to improve the stability and the strength of all the connecting muscles of your mid-section.

The plank can be performed resting on bent elbows (easier version) or straight arm ( more challenging). By using different variations of this exercise: front plank on elbows (very basic) to a much more advanced side plank, resting on hand and lifting the top leg ( quite challenging version) you can easily adjust the intensity and difficulty of the exercise to make it fit your present ability and challenge yourself to improve.

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Horizontal or Angled Cable Torso Twist

The muscles of the torso stabilize the spine and allow movement, in many different directions and range of motions by coordinating with the pelvic muscles. These muscles work together to flex, extend, rotate and bend the body in a controlled manner. Torso twist exercises help increase the strength and stability of the core muscles during rotation and also improve the synergy and connection between the upper body and hips muscles which will make many, everyday chores, easier; taking grocery bags from back of cars, picking up grand children, shovelling snow…

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To conclude, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of their Core Muscles. And that there are many ways to effectively activate – strengthen the different muscles of the Core. Doing so using functional exercises as the ones above, will help make the whole body more connected and stronger. Stronger core muscles will indeed save your low back and pelvic from many unnecessary pain and injuries!


Train Smarter – Not Harder!


Effective Core Training is the first step to a Stronger Complete Body! Part #3

In this third of my Core Training posts, (#1 here and #2 here) I will touch on the muscles, which comprise your Outer Core Muscles. And I will remind everyone how the inner core and outer core muscles must be thought of a “One Unit” in order to be functionally effective.

The “outer core” refers to the muscles that most of us would refer to when talking about “abdominals training”.

These include:

  • Rectus abdominis (the 6-pack muscle)
  • External obliques
  • And the big extensor muscles on your back collectively referred to as the erector spinae.

These muscles are responsible for generating movement and the overall stability of the body. But since, none of these muscles are directly attached to the spine, they need the coordinated efforts of the inner core muscles in order to be most effective.

In essence, the inner and outer core muscles (The Core) need to work synergistically to stabilize the spinal cord while allowing you to move your limbs and function normally on a day-to-day basis.

The muscles of The Core are the links between the lower and upper body’s muscles groups. They effectively transfer the force and power generated by these other muscles groups.

A functional and solid Core will help you maintain a good erect posture, increase your stability and balance, improve your performance in your activities of choice and keep your low back and spine healthy!

The best way to train your core muscles to build a solid and functional core is to use different exercises through a variety of planes of motion.

In my next post, I will describe some of these exercises.

Train Smarter – Not Harder!