Question about my core

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Rachel

Question about my core

Post by Rachel » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:55 pm

I was watching the "Treadclimber" infomercial this morning. The paid participants said they could feel their "cores" being engaged. If I use my elliptical trainer without holding on to the arm poles, will I be engaging my core? Is this an effective way to engage core muscles?

northernbelle
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Post by northernbelle » Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:53 pm

In almost any exercise, you engage your core. It's your core muscles (abs, erector spinae, hips) that stabilize your body whenever you move. So whether you hold on to the arms of the elliptical or not, you are engaging your core by standing upright. By not hanging on, you are depending on your core to keep you balanced, but then you miss out on the upper body movement. Just by walking down the street, you are 'engaging your core'.

Is this a good way to exercise your core? It depends on your goal. If your core is weak or underdeveloped, there are many ways to strengthen it. If your core is well developed, then many exercises maintain that development.

I wouldn't depend on any cardio machine to strengthen my core. But then my core muscles need some developing. Some ways to do that are the following:
- exercises on a stability ball
- exercises that target your core muscles (deadlifts, hyperextensions, ab work)
- yoga and pilates

Although you are using your core muscles while doing anything, core development needs independent work of its own.

Hope this helps...

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:33 pm

What exactly are your goals reguarding your core? Are you looking to improve strength, relieve back pain, or just get/keep an asthetically pleasing midsection?

PS.) "Core Strenght" has apparently become a HUGE marketing thing for fitness products and programs, since virtually every mainstream product/program advertises it as a benefit.

Elaray
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Post by Elaray » Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:03 pm

I want to
Matt Z wrote:just get/keep an asthetically pleasing midsection
As I was on the elliptical this morning I took my hands off the poles and pumped my arms. I was just wondering if the attempt to keep my balance was working the "core" any more than when I hold on to the poles. My mind goes to places like that when I exercise.

I also have a weight training component to my routine. Like many middle-aged women, I'm most unhappy with my belly and I would like everything I do to help reduce it.

(aka Rachel)
Matthew 11:28-30

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:23 pm

Your probably better off targeting your midsection durring the weights portion of your workout, preferably at the end. It shouldn't take much to work this area properly, just a few sets total and you don't have to train it every day. Unfortunately, all the crunches in the world won't do much for your appearance if your carrying extra bodyfat around the midsection. Believe me I know. I have rock-hard chiseled abs that no one including me has ever seen.

Still, it's probably a good idea to keep training your midsection, since doing so has other benefits. Meanwhile, keep up the lifting and cardio, and eat right and you'll get there eventually.

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lee

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