We hear a lot about ‘working the core’ these days. Pilates and yoga are ones that I remember, but how do I benefit from core exercises?
Harvard Medical School offers the following in answer: “Who will notice first? That golf partner who can no longer beat your drives off the tee? The co-worker who wishes that she had as much energy as you at the end of the day? Or will it be the friend who, with more than slight envy, congratulates you on looking so “fit?”
“The fact is, after beginning a core exercise program, you will notice the difference. You will have greater strength and flexibility for doing everyday tasks. You will have added power for athletic activities. You’ll have less pain and stiffness. And your slimmer waistline and better defined ab muscles will be hard to ignore.
“Core muscles form the central link between your upper and lower body. A strong core underpins almost everything you do. Building up core muscles is key to improving performance in almost any sport by extending your range of motion to lift, bend, turn and reach. It also trims your silhouette and tones your abs and glutes.
“Core Exercises is a Special Health Report prepared by Harvard Medical School physicians and Master Trainers. It will show you how you can strengthen your core with workouts that take no more than 20-40 minutes and do not require fancy equipment. They are exercises that will keep you motivated and continue to challenge you as you make progress.
“Six of the workouts consist of 9-10 exercises each that combine classic core moves — planks, squats, and lunges — with exercises that work the full range of core muscles. Each exercise is illustrated and accompanied by tips and techniques, instructions for tempo and movement, and options for making the exercise easier or taking it up a notch.
“The report also gives you four short workouts for busy days or when you need a change. You’ll get tips for exercising safely and effectively. Plus, a handy chart tells you which exercises and stretches are best for your favorite sport.”