The Science Behind a Strong Core
Sure, a six-pack looks great any given day. There’s no need to shy away from sexy outfits or hide behind baggy clothes when you have a flat, taut tummy. Other than looking good, strengthening your abdominal muscles has some real world benefits: think of your tummy as the main link that connects the upper part of your body to the lower part. If it isn’t strong enough to connect or support both ends, how do you suppose you’d feel and look?
Everyday Tasks Become Easy
Something as simple as bending over to put on your shoes or taking a bath can trace their way back to your core. You don’t really realise the importance of such acts until you feel pain or discomfort. The same can be said of activities you at work. These are mundane activities that we take for granted. Don’t wait until your abs say, “AYE!”
In this day and age, having good posture isn’t in most people’s priority list. Slouching has become very common because of our everyday use of computers, laptops, and other gadgets. Most of the time, we don’t realise we’re slouching until someone points it out. Constantly having bad posture can put a strain on your back, eventually leading to chronic pain.
A weak core cannot support your body, letting you hunch forward and allowing your spine to cure unnaturally.
You’ll Be Able to Breathe Better
Human anatomy tells us that our internal organs look like they’ve been grouped haphazardly in our bodies. When we learn to strengthen our core, we can see a marked difference in the way our diaphragm and breathing improves. This is because your organs situated where they should be, protected by strong abdominal walls.
A Slimmer Waistline
A thick waistline has been attributed to higher cholesterol levels, shallow breathing, and even a higher chance at developing cardiovascular disease. Core exercises can keep these and other health risks at bay.
There is also the psychological effect of having a smaller tummy. Because of the way the media has constantly bombarded us with images of slim waists and solid abs, we relate it to looking good. We all know that when we look good, we feel good. Sometimes being a little bit conscious of the way you look can be helpful.
Get Those Killer Abs at Rec Xpress
Our 6 locations are all equipped with machines that help target belly fat and get those abs rockin’ just in time for summer.
The cable machine targets all areas of your midsection and for this machine to be effective, it is best to add more weight than usual (but not too much that you lose control).
How: Make sure to keep the side of your body facing the machine. Take a few steps away from it, enough for you to feel the resistance of the bands. With your feet hip-width apart and your knees relaxed, hold the cable handle firmly on your chest. Your shoulders and hips should be steady as you push and pull the handle to and from your midsection (think of drawing a straight line away from your belly button). Because you are forcing yourself to stand up straight, this creates a tension in your tummy area that is sure to put those muscles on fire!
This versatile machine can be used easily to target ab muscles.
How: Position yourself at the back of the machine. Do a plank and rest your feet on the seat of the rowing machine. Make sure your hands are not too far away. Your arms and hands should be straight with your shoulders. Using your core muscles, move the seat towards your chest, just stopping in line with your hips. Move your legs back to the starting position.
If you feel too comfortable with this exercise, kick it up a notch by doing pikes in the rowing machine. Get those core muscles engaged when you use them to lift your hips to the ceiling.
For this to be an effective core exercise, take your sweet time. Don’t arch your back when you lift your legs. Keep your movements controlled and you’ll soon feel those abs burning.
How: Rest your back on the machine’s padding, your forearms positioned on the arm rest. Grip the handles firmly. Keep your spine and posture neutral and tall by pressing on the arm rest using your forearms. Start off by letting your legs hang straight and then lifting them to form a 90 degree angle. If you find it too difficult, bend your knees and lift them up to hip height. Don’t drop your legs; slowly lower them to the starting position.
Doing this exercise at certain angles will give your tummy a total workout. For beginners, start at 30 to 45 degree angles and then change it up as you challenge yourself. Higher angles mean more difficult sit ups. This exercise relies heavily on form so go easy on yourself when you want to try this out.
How: Position your securely on the inclined bench by locking your feet behind the rollers. Lay flat on your back on the bench, inhaling upon starting and then exhaling as you lift your chest up using your ab muscles. Take your time to lower yourself back down on the bench.
Say Goodbye to Flabby Tummies
With a wide array of gym equipment for muscle building, there are many other exercises that you can do at Rec Xpress to get back in shape and strengthen your core. Talk to one of our personal trainers and they can assist you in your fitness journey.
Becoming a member at Rec Xpress is very easy. Sign-up online and enjoy two weeks free of charge. At $11 a week and with no lock-in periods, Rec Xpress is a clear choice as your partner in healthy living and wellness.