While core exercises can lead to stronger and more toned abdominal muscles, this is just a fraction of the benefits of a strong and stable core. Core training can help improve and optimize several areas that tricle down to athletic improvements and benefits. Some of the benefits of core training are increased explosiveness, power, strength and improved balance. Here we dissect the effects, benefits, and challenges of core training.
  [caption id="attachment_115101" align="aligncenter" width="683"]Anders Hofman Laursen A strong core builds balance and improves strength and mobility | Photo: DANISH ENDURANCE[/caption]   The human physical strength structure starts in the core. The core is defined as the area from the torso down to your hips. The muscles in this section of your body are directly connected to (almost) all other muscle groups. In synergy with your bones and muscles in other areas of your body, the core section allows functional movements in any direction. This is why professional footballers – where mobility and flexibility to move in any direction at any sudden moment is the name of the game – spend a large proportion of their exercise efforts on their core. Furthermore, the muscles in your midsection protect your spine and allow you to have a stronger back. This means that most sports- or physical activities rely on stable core muscles. A complete core workout should, therefore, be an integrated part of a well-balanced exercise program.  
What is core exercising?
Core exercising accounts for all abdominal and back exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, and abdominal crunches. These are exercises that use your trunk without support and strengthen and train your lower back, abdomen, hips, and pelvis to work together for better balance and stability. Examples of core exercises:
  1. Plank
  2. Sit-ups
  3. Push-ups
  4. Crunches
  5. Lunges
  6. Mountain Climbers
  7. Squats
  [caption id="attachment_115110" align="aligncenter" width="678"]Bands can add pressure Bands can add pressure | Photo: DANISH ENDURANCE[/caption]   The benefits of core exercising include:
  1. Injury prevention
  2. Better balance and stabilization of the torso
  3. Tighter and flatter stomach
  4. Improved efficiency and effectiveness of muscle groups working together across the full-body
  5. Improvement of spinal control and strength
  6. Stabilized and aligned spine, ribs, and pelvis and
  7. Increased mobility
Getting started
You might consider choosing 3-4 exercises with 3 sets of 10 reps each. Focus on form and increase the effort and intensity gradually as you progress. You can do this by including a resistance band which adds pressure during squats, lunges, push-ups, and sit-ups. Looking for a durable and stretchable resistance band? You can find one here. Such a routine could look like this:
  1. Mountain Climbers. 3 sets, 10-12 reps (30-45 seconds rest)
  2. Crunches. 3 sets, 10-12 reps (30-45 seconds rest)
  3. Plank. 50-80 seconds.
Rest and recover.
Remember to rest and recover. Recovery can take from a day to a week. Overtraining a sore muscle group is ill-advised. We recommend focusing on other areas while allowing the trained muscle group to recover for 2-3 days. This also allows for a well-balanced exercise program.  
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