News

Fitness experts cut to the core, target the center of power

Fitness experts cut to the core, target the center of power

CORE: Adding in exercise routines to strengthen the core can help the runner go faster, the basketball player jump higher and the everyday exerciser more easily do routine tasks from loading the car to cleaning the tub. Photo: Reuters

By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Whether it is running, swimming, weight lifting or aerobics, fitness experts say the center of all exercise routines is the core – the abdominal, back and muscles around the pelvis – which is the seat of stability, strength and power.

Adding in exercise routines to strengthen the core can help the runner go faster, the basketball player jump higher and the everyday exerciser more easily do routine tasks from loading the car to cleaning the tub.

“The core is everything except for arms, legs and head,” said Daniel Taylor, co-author with Greg Brittenham of the new book “Conditioning to the Core.”

It is the mainstay of the body, according to Taylor, who is the head strength and conditioning coach at Siena College in upstate New York.

“People need to get away from saying ‘I’m going to do abs today’ and take a larger view,” said Taylor, whose book contains more than 300 exercises, ranging from planks, squats and lunges to medicine ball and kettlebell throws presented in progressive routines.

“A lot of times people get stuck in one or two routines and get good at them,” he said. “You’ve got to make things more challenging to keep progressing.”

Taylor said everything is linked to the core.

“If you jump it’s transferred to the core. If you want to be a better recreational running, strengthening the core will help because your anchor is better,” he explained.

The body’s girdle is how New York City-based personal trainer JR Allen describes the core.

Celebrity trainee Allen, whose clients include singer Mary J. Blige, said even the breath is involved in core work.

“It’s not about sucking in the stomach but about tightening,” said Allen, owner of 2 Day Be Fit. “If you watch a boxer before a punch, he’ll make a whistling sound. That’s to engage the transverse abdominals (the front and side muscles of the abdominal wall).”

Allen, a former body builder takes a personal approach to training.

“One of my favorite things to do is agility drills,” he said. “Squat jumps, alternating lunges with jumps and power skips: those types of dynamic movements target your core.”

Taylor said a mere 20-minute core workout, involving as few as four rotating exercises in a circuit, serves as a good warm up for most activities, from lifting weights to playing basketball.

“You don’t have to destroy yourself. You don’t have to do it for hours, you don’t need to exercise for a thousand repetitions. But if you keep doing it you’ll be stronger, better toned, with better posture,” he said. “And maybe your running times have improved.”

(Editing by Patricia Reaney)

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

No.10 WWU rallies for 3-1 win over Seattle Pacific

Fresh
WWU Volleyball

It was the seventh straight win for the Vikings, who improved to 17-4 overall and 10-2 in GNAC play.

in Local Sports

No. 14 Arizona State knocks off Washington

Arizona State Sun Devil mascot.  Associated Press

No. 14 Arizona State beat Washington, 24-10, on a blustery Saturday night.

in Local Sports

WWU soccer: men fall, women earn tie

western washington logo generic copy/wwu

The Viking men fell to Northwest Nazarene and the women earned a draw with Central Washington

in Sports

Giants surge past Royals 11-4 to tie Series 2-all

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy answers questions during a news conference Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in San Francisco. The Giants and the Kansas City Royals are scheduled to play Game 3 of the baseball World Series in San Francisco on Friday.

Pence got three hits, drove in three runs, scored twice and made a terrific catch in the ninth inning

in Local Sports

Bellingham completes sweep of Wenatchee

bellingham blazers logo with text

Forward Boris Knyazev recorded three assists and goalie Cody Foster stopped 15 shots for Bellingham.