What Is a “Core Workout” Anyway?

A good core workout works a lot more than just your ab muscles.

In my book Core Envy, I talk about laying the foundation for your core. I’m not referring just to the intri­cate musculature beneath your abs. Your glutes and hamstrings are also involved. These muscles are traditionally categorized as “lower-body” muscles, but they serve a dual function in helping to stabilize and move the pelvis, which makes them part of the core.

In fact, any muscle that is attached to either the pelvis or the spine is tech­nically part of the core.

Add to the major muscle groups all of the smaller, deeper muscles in this area, and the count of how many muscles are in the human core eas­ily reaches into the hundreds. If your core strengthening routine is based solely on crunches, you’re neglecting 95 percent of your core musculature.

When a large percentage of your core muscles is routinely ignored, it creates a muscular imbalance in which a muscle or group of muscles becomes tight and overactive, therefore causing a neighboring or opposing muscle to become weak and underactive.

Overworking one core muscle group will weaken the others.

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Core imbal­ances are problematic because our muscles control our joints and bones, and when a certain muscle is doing too much work, it will start to pull the bones and joints it is attached to into uncomfortable positions.

Focusing on only a few core muscles can lead to poor posture (which makes your tummy stick out) and injuries (which will inhibit you from being able to work out). This is part of why you should stop doing crunches and why you’ll never do a single crunch using my Core Envy program.

With Core Envy, you’ll build a solid foundation for your core with a well-rounded core routine, and you will accomplish the dual goals of looking good while being strong and pain-free.

Core Envy by Allison Westfahl Book CoverAllison Westfahl’s Core Envy will tone and sculpt your abs, back, stomach, and sides—and build a strong, sexy core you’ll love showing off.

Core Envy is available now in Target stores, bookstores, and from these online retailers. Take a look!

Target.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers

 

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