The increasing trend of having a defined core is driving every fitness freak crazier. However, there has been a pool of confusion and false information surrounding it which has not been paid heed.
We have seen people fantasizing over those magazine images displaying lean abs and complaining that their outcome did not turn out to be even a tad bit closer to it. Well, that is because, even after giving a good amount of time to their workout regime, there are some important aspects that people unknowingly ignore.
Let’s just face that attaining a toned core is not a piece of cake. It requires dedication, punctuality and, of course, the right training. And this is where the lack resides. One cannot get that chiseled core just by drooling over the magazine pictures and believing whatever it says. They are often misled into believing endless sit-ups or altering their diet would magically influence their core which undoubtedly plays a big part but isn’t the only case. This is why we felt the dire need to discuss them in this blog post.
Before we begin, let’s for once see what exactly the term core means and why it is important to train it.
The core is the area of the body encompassing your midsection and every muscle around it, including the front, back and sides. To elaborate it further, it involves the pelvis, lower back besides the hips and abdomen.
It is considered as quite important to train this area to ensure a good balance and stability for almost every physical activity depends largely on core muscles.
Here, we will discuss a few mistakes which are being an obstacle in your pursuit of having that drool-worthy core.
1. The Crunches and Sit-Ups:
For many, core training is all about doing crunches and sit-ups till the abs wither in pain. However, it is more than this. It is a misconception that crunches alone would enable you to have the core you have been dreaming about. There are far better exercises than this to achieve an effective outcome. These traditional crunches and sit-ups won’t get you anywhere. These are the exercises which only focus on one part, hence, waste both time and energy.
They also end up putting unnecessary stress on the spine, causing severe problems. They actually put the body in spinal flexion rather than a neutral spine which invites strain and lower back problems.
It is therefore highly recommended to avoid the crunches and sit-ups and instead adopt exercises such as planks and leg-raises besides squats
2. The Cardio:
Too much cardio is another hindrance as long sessions only lead to decreased muscle mass. You will be surprised to know that extended periods of cardio can down the metabolic rate and can even result in injuries.
It is therefore recommended that the high-intensity exercise is carried out in moderate amounts. Shorter, high-intensity cardio should be practiced as it aids in burning the fat at a much faster rate. Ideally, a 20-30 minute cardio is more than enough.
Furthermore, cardio should be done in combination with strength training. It greatly helps in maintaining the muscle mass. Also, the low intensity of strength training is more effective than constant cardio training as your body as well seeks variation in workout routine to avoid or reduce the physical stress.
Training harder is always prioritized when training smartly is what one needs to incorporate into his life. Overtraining happens when you perform the set exercise routines more than your body could take up.
There is no point in doing 100 planks straight up as it would do nothing other than draining out you and your body.
The core needs its fair amount of rest after every training session so that the next time you do the training; they are capable enough to handle the training with the same vigor. Don’t go overboard and stick to 2-3 times per week training sessions. Ensure that you do not take it to a point that it takes a week or so to recover.
If you notice intense pain or discomfort after a workout, consult your GP immediately. The good thing is that most health care providers are now using telemedicine platforms which means you can contact them using your laptop or smartphone.
4. Bring Variation:
Importance of variation is profound. Your body as well demands a once in a while change when it comes to an exercise regime just like you don’t like to eat the same meal every other day.
Following a routine repetitively makes your body used to it and there comes a time when it eventually stops responding. This is what is called hitting a plateau. That’s right. When your body is exposed to one set of routine, it loses its ability to adapt. That is why bringing about variation in your routine is essential. Besides this, it kills the monotony and keeps one from getting bored considering the psychological perspective.
For example, one you have mastered the basic plank technique; move on to the intermediate level for a little variety and then gradually to the advanced one. The side plank twist is one of them.
Make sure, you have a mix of about 10 to 15 different training techniques in your core workout regime to bring that variation factor to life. Also, ensure that you shift the intensity level. If your core training plan is hard and heavy the first week, take a little down the next week. Similarly, keep a track on the volume as well. Don’t jump, but rather take it slowly and effectively. Patience is the key to see the results as nothing happens overnight. It is an ongoing process and requires a systematic approach.
5. Eating Habits:
You are working out tirelessly yet you have not seen the desired results. It is getting on your nerves now. We ask, have you evaluated your diet closely yet? Because we take lack of nutrients as a prime suspect!
To see the desired results, it is important that an individual eats well in addition to the training. This simply means a sufficient amount of protein and carbohydrates should be incorporated into the diet.
Often, after a rigorous training session, it is seen that individuals do not eat, which is highly detrimental to both health and, of course, the expected outcome. Not eating post the training session makes your body lose the chance of refilling the glycogen stores. Therefore, we recommend keeping food, such as protein bars and Greek yogurt handy.
Engrave the fact in your mind that no matter how much you train, if there is a lack in your diet and you are neglecting your food intake, you shall never ever see that perfectly ‘flat and tightened’ core. You also need to keep a close eye on your water intake as it determines your athletic performance. Hence, always keep your diet and hydration levels in check!
These are some areas where you might need to pay an extra attention. Other than this, core training is perhaps the most ambiguous phrase doing rounds in the fitness industry currently, therefore we recommended on investing in a good training expert. Make sure, you have done an ample amount of research before you zero upon any trainer and have enough testimonials to make a sound choice.
Author Bio: James Crook is a passionate blogger who loves to write on health and fitness related topics. Currently, he is a working as a blogger for a telemedicine app ‘Mend Family’. Follow @jamescrook911 for more updates.