News

Fitness experts cut to the core, target the center of power

Fitness experts cut to the core, target the center of power

CORE: Adding in exercise routines to strengthen the core can help the runner go faster, the basketball player jump higher and the everyday exerciser more easily do routine tasks from loading the car to cleaning the tub. Photo: Reuters

By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Whether it is running, swimming, weight lifting or aerobics, fitness experts say the center of all exercise routines is the core – the abdominal, back and muscles around the pelvis – which is the seat of stability, strength and power.

Adding in exercise routines to strengthen the core can help the runner go faster, the basketball player jump higher and the everyday exerciser more easily do routine tasks from loading the car to cleaning the tub.

“The core is everything except for arms, legs and head,” said Daniel Taylor, co-author with Greg Brittenham of the new book “Conditioning to the Core.”

It is the mainstay of the body, according to Taylor, who is the head strength and conditioning coach at Siena College in upstate New York.

“People need to get away from saying ‘I’m going to do abs today’ and take a larger view,” said Taylor, whose book contains more than 300 exercises, ranging from planks, squats and lunges to medicine ball and kettlebell throws presented in progressive routines.

“A lot of times people get stuck in one or two routines and get good at them,” he said. “You’ve got to make things more challenging to keep progressing.”

Taylor said everything is linked to the core.

“If you jump it’s transferred to the core. If you want to be a better recreational running, strengthening the core will help because your anchor is better,” he explained.

The body’s girdle is how New York City-based personal trainer JR Allen describes the core.

Celebrity trainee Allen, whose clients include singer Mary J. Blige, said even the breath is involved in core work.

“It’s not about sucking in the stomach but about tightening,” said Allen, owner of 2 Day Be Fit. “If you watch a boxer before a punch, he’ll make a whistling sound. That’s to engage the transverse abdominals (the front and side muscles of the abdominal wall).”

Allen, a former body builder takes a personal approach to training.

“One of my favorite things to do is agility drills,” he said. “Squat jumps, alternating lunges with jumps and power skips: those types of dynamic movements target your core.”

Taylor said a mere 20-minute core workout, involving as few as four rotating exercises in a circuit, serves as a good warm up for most activities, from lifting weights to playing basketball.

“You don’t have to destroy yourself. You don’t have to do it for hours, you don’t need to exercise for a thousand repetitions. But if you keep doing it you’ll be stronger, better toned, with better posture,” he said. “And maybe your running times have improved.”

(Editing by Patricia Reaney)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Girl found in central New York after Amber Alert issued in Vermont

Fresh
Crime 3

Amber Alert was issued Saturday morning after 4-year-old girl was reported missing; girl was found hours later in DeWitt with grandmother, woman's boyfriend

in Local

Old wiring blamed for town of Ithaca fire

Fresh
IFD 2

Town of Ithaca fire along Bostwick Road was reported after 10 a.m. Friday; no one was injured, as old wiring was to blame

in Local

Police ID 3 in cross burning at western New York mosque

Crime 3

Police say crosses were burned into lawn at western New York mosque; 3 people identified are under 21, all from near location of mosque

in Local

Investigators believe Endicott fire set to target firefighters

fire

Fire was reported around 2 a.m. Friday; investigation revealed gas tanks, propane, butane left in spots to possibly injure firefighters

in Local

Car accident, 1-year-old airlifted to hospital

Crime 3

The Ithaca Police Department says two vehicles collided at the intersection of Hancock Street and First Street.