Core Stability Classes.
There are lot’s of benefits to having a strong core.
For instance it allows you to carry out every day tasks with more ease (picking things up, carrying things etc.), reduces risk of injury, makes you stronger, means you can lift more.
I teach one class per week.
A lot of people come thinking ‘Abs class’.
In some gyms they may actually be listed as Abs classes to be fair.
But mine is listed as Core Stability.
So I do some targeted work to the abs (crunches and their variations, back extensions etc.).
But 80% plus of my 30 minute class focuses on bigger moves that target the whole trunk of the body however (shoulders, back, glutes, hamstrings and quads as well as the mid section).
So we do a lot of plank work, squats, lunges, use resistance bands to work through the shoulders. I’m also quite fond of burpees (teaching them, less so doing them).
Sometimes I do circuits where we may deadlift, use medicine balls (ball slams, wall balls), use Kettlebells (Swings, Turkish Get Ups) etc.
Essentially though whilst I do teach Core Stability as a class in it’s own right I believe that you can (and probably already do) work on core strength within your current training regime.
Deadlifts, overhead squats, lunges, push ups amongst others will all work on increasing core strength.
Classes such as Les Mills Body Combat will work your mid section almost without you realising.
So go to a ‘Core’ class if you enjoy them (most centres have their own versions and there are brands such as Les Mill CX Worx) – they definitely have their place – and most classes now are more functional and less about doing moves which work only a few targeted muscles. However, the core is the trunk of your body and you can strengthen it effectively through many types of training and without doing 30 minutes of pure isolated crunches.
One thing to note. The thing I get asked most often after my core classes. How can I get a 6 pack? Now I don’t have a 6 pack so I can’t really claim to be any form of expert here.
The answer almost definitely lies in your diet though. No amount of 30 minute ab classes alone are going to create one (sorry).
But you can get stronger, fitter and feel great by adding some functional core training into your life (it’s just I think if you already go to the gym you probably already do some without even thinking about it!).
If you are new to classes and want to try a Core Class:
- Like all classes don’t worry about being new- say hi to the instructor and they will watch out for you.
- Still take water- they can be tough still
- Wear normal gym clothes and take trainers- some parts may be fine to do in bare feet but as I’ve indicated above not all sections of a core class will be lying down!
- In this class there will always be options – I give more options in Core class than any other. Really really really don’t be afraid to take the options. Here we want to focus on technique so it’s betetr doing what you can well than trying to do a ‘harder option’ and losing form.
- Control is also key – soemtimes instructors will use the beat (it’s Exercise to Music after all) but if you need to slow it down to do the reps properly do it.