Core Conditioning

For posture, balance and stability your core is what you want to be working out. With some accessories, free weights and specific gadgets to hand, you can do as much or as little as you wish to work your core.

For a home gym or small PT studio equipment that will help you with your core conditioning and core strength should be top of your list. Your core is not just your abs but all the muscles that help you with stability of your spine and pelvis as well as the rest of your torso. This results in good posture and therefore a healthy spine.

There's a lot core exercises you can do with little or no equipment, but for other's there's usually a gadget or accessory that can help. From a balance or wobble board through to stability ball and power wheel, these highly cost effective products will really help you focus on what is a keystone for the rest of your body.

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Core Conditioning

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Core Conditioning

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buying guide for core conditioning

Core Conditioning Buying Guide

What is Core Conditioning?

Many people think of the core as their abs and think in terms of aspiring to a 6 pack. But a strong core  is much more than this. In essence, your core encompasses all the muscle groups that stabilise the spine and pelvis. Core conditioning works all these muscle groups bringing huge benefits to your fitness and will prevent future injuries.

What Are The Muscles of The Core Region?

They are the abdominals which includes the rectus abdominus, transversus abdominis, internal and external abdominal obliques. Then there are the hip musculature which includes the gluteus maximus and then finally there are the spinal musculature which includes the erector spinae and the trapezius.

Why is A Good Core Essential?

As the muscles of the trunk and torso stabilise the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle then this solid base will allow you to move in a powerful and controlled way. In fact a strong core is pretty essential to performing everyday tasks from picking your toddler up to unloading groceries from the car.

In fact all athletic movement incorporates the core in some way. If you work your core out you should see better movement, improved balance, increased power, reduce your risk of injury, have better balance and you should become a better athlete!

Examples of Core Exercises

Some core exercises require no training equipment at all, they are the plank, push up plank, v sit hold and twisting crunch. The plank works your entire core and upper and lower body muscles. Lie down on your stomach and lift your body off the floor with your forearms and your toes. Keep your body in a straight position and try and hold this position for at least 30 seconds.

A push up plank is very similar but you put your body in the push up position. The v sit hold really develops your balance. Lie on your back and bend at the waist as you extend your legs and arms into the air to form a v shape.

But core conditioning equipment can introduce variety and keep you motivated. Examples of core exercises that require equipment are a plank on a Swiss ball and the lying glute push up. Using a Swiss ball to perform the plank can be very effective. You can either place your forearms or feet on the Swiss ball whilst taking the plank position. This creates a feeling of unbalance which will really work your abs. The lying glute push up requires you to lie on your back with your feet resting on a Swiss ball. Raise your bottom off the floor for at least 60 seconds.

Equipment That Will Support Core Training

There are loads of core equipment support tools out there but here we list what we see as the really important ones. They include medicine balls, kettlebells, wobble boards, Yoga and Pilates.

 If you are also going to do exercises like the plank and ab crunches then you should also invest in a good quality mat. Look out for a mat that will really cushion your spine, can be easily cleaned and preferably can be easily stored away either by rolling or has handles.

A large exercise ball is great for performing a range of ab exercises. Even just sitting on it and doing sit ups will work your core more than by just doing a sit up because by sitting on it you are introducing an element of imbalance which makes your core muscles work harder. Medicine balls can also be really effective. Try the seated oblique twist whilst using a medicine ball. You are put off balance whilst holding a weight, all works the core again.

The BOSU balance trainer will also really work your core. The principle remains the same, the body is thrown off balance so the core muscles have to tighten and work harder. With the BOSU you will improve your balance, stability and tone your core. The good thing about BOSU is the variety, you can stand, kneel, be prone or supine on the BOSU ball.

The ab trainer can also be a great help in strengthening your core and introducing some variety into your workout. It will work your abs and strengthen your core at the same time. An ab trainer can be particularly useful if you want to work your core but have back problems as it takes the strain off the spine. They are also very easy to store so a good choice if space is limited!


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