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Ever tried Pilates or specialized ab workouts? In this case, you’ve probably heard about the term “core activation” a lot. What does it mean to activate your core and why is it important? Sure, you’re working your abs, but is it enough?
You see, the core consists of several small muscles. Most ab exercises only hit the superficial layers of your core. The key to core strength is to activate and isolate the deep muscles in this region. These include the lumbar multifidus and transverse abdominus.
Core activation will lead to a better posture, enhanced physical performance, and improved overall fitness. It also makes daily activities easier and reduces injury risk. This is something everyone can benefit from, regardless of age or fitness goals.
Here are some simple ways to activate your core and make it stronger:
Master the Crunch
This may come up as a surprise, but most gym goers do crunches the wrong way. They either move too fast or simply fail to fully engage their core muscles. The crunch is a great exercise as long as you do it properly.
When performing a crunch, place a hand on your abs. If the upper layer is pushing out or bunching out, it means you’re not activating the deep core muscles. Keep practicing until you feel the contraction and improve your form.
Maintain Proper Alignment
Most people work their abs but ignore the rest of their bodies during core training. If you’re slouching or having bad posture, you cannot target the deep core muscles properly. Thus, it’s essential to maintain proper alignment of your spine, shoulders, and hips.
Try Abdominal Bracing
Abdominal bracing is one of the few techniques that can instantly activate your core. Basically, you need to draw in the core muscles below your belly button toward your spine, and hold the contraction for as long as possible.
This technique helps stabilize your spine and strengthens the deep core muscles. The key is to use a slow, controlled motion and breathe properly. If you feel pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, you’re doing it all wrong.
Practice Abdominal Hollowing
Along with bracing, abdominal hollowing is a proven way to fully engage the core muscles. It’s also the primary exercise recommended by physiotherapists for rehab. This strategy improves spinal stability, relieves lower back pain, and activates the core.
To perform this movement, contract your pelvic floor muscles and then draw your belly button in. Maintain the contraction for a few seconds and repeat. Do this exercise daily or every two days to reap the benefits.
Get Started with Pilates
Pilates has emerged as one of the best ways to strengthen and activate the core muscles. This gentle form of exercise has been shown to improve lumbo-pelvic stability and flexibility. In the long run, it may reduce the risk of injury and boost functional fitness.
All Pilates exercises involve the core. This helps build strong abdominal muscles and improves sports performance. The best part is that you can work out at home, so try it yourself! Pilates isn’t just for women or newbies – it appeals to beginners and pro athletes alike.
+ These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. Best results are only achieved when combined with diet and exercise program. Results not typical for any or all claims. Nitrocut® User Testimonial names have been changed to protect their privacy.