Be Better Than an IG Model
From sitting down and scrolling through social media to the hundreds of commercials we’ve all seen, a defined mid section has always been highlighted. From professional athletes to superstar models, it seems like everyone who is “important” has a six-pack or at least super toned abs.
As much as they are appealing and can make you an Instagram model, your core is more important than you think and is actually a lot more than the muscle that forms the “six-pack”.
To overview quickly, your core is made up a variety of muscles that all have different actions but work together to keep your spine stable and safe while you move. Deep inside your core lays your transverse abdominus, working as a stabilizer. Along with that muscle you also have the internal and external oblique muscles that run through the sides of your core that help you with lateral flexion and rotation, think of side planks or some sort of twisting motion. And finally most iconic of all the core muscles is your rectus abdominus, the muscle we all see 24/7. Its job is simply to help us perform flexion of the spine, think of crunches.
With all that in mind, your core does a lot of work and is actually involved in EVERY movement you do. From walking, running, kicking, jumping, picking things up, and etc, your core muscles are working to adjust to the movement to keep your spine nice and stable. And because of that, we ALL need to continuously working on our core muscles so we’re ready for whatever life throws at us.
Although we’ve been told to crunch and then crunch even more to get a strong and appealing core, we should all aim to engage all of the muscles of the core when we’re working out. I always keep it pretty simple and try to make sure whoever I’m training gets some sort of isometric hold (ex: plank or hollow holds) a lateral/rotational movement (ex. v-twists or side planks) and some variant of a crunch/flexion exercise.
And just like any muscle group, we should always be trying to get better. From maybe holding a plank for an extra 10 seconds to trying a more difficult exercise, always try to progress in our core strength and stability. In the video below I’ve put together some examples of different exercises I like to use with my clients. The first exercise of each segment will be the easier of the two and following it will be an exercise that is a little more challenging.
Who wouldn’t want a strong core? They’d bring us more popularity on social media (We all need that) and improve our daily life of movement. To fully enjoy the benefits of a strong core, always remember to go beyond the typical crunches and mix in other types of movements and exercises to challenge your core. From people looking to get in shape to Division I collegiate athletes, I believe core work is vital and one of the top priorities in fitness/training. Keep all this in mind, work hard, and you’ll be that much closer to bringing your toned abs Instagram model dreams to a reality while being able to move freely and enjoy life.
Brandon Brelsford is one of the trainers at Olympia Fitness and Performance. He graduated from Rhode Island College with a B.S. in Community Health and Wellness with a concentration in Wellness and Movement Studies. After graduating, Brandon obtained his CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist) from the NSCA. Brandon enjoys helping his clients realize what they’re truly capable of and enjoys seeing their growth in and out of the gym.