2 simple steps to build core strength

July 20, 2023 0 Comments

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If you’re a fitness freak (guilty!), you know how important this is build core strength. Although your usual training already build core strength just adding some extra core work to your routine can make a huge difference. But what movements are most effective for building functional core strength?

Dr Sarah Solomon, BSc PT, DMD, the creator of Strength Academy, is an expert at building functional core strength that can be applied to a variety of exercise disciplines, including some very impressive pole dancing. Instead of focusing on abs aesthetics, Solomon takes a more anatomical approach to core strength. In particular, development of the transverse abdominal muscle (TVA).

Anatomical illustration of TVA abs
(Illustration: Sciepro/Science Photo Library | Getty)

“TVA is very important deep cortical muscle because it’s your body’s main stabilizer,” Solomon explains. “A strong TVA provides the foundation you need to get stronger and more mobile.” She says that focusing solely on the superficial rectus abdominis (aka your six-pack) with endless crunches can strengthen existing weaknesses in your TVA. This can lead to problems including: backache, tight hips and diastasis recti, a condition in which the rectus abdominis muscles separate. “That’s why it’s so important not to neglect your TVA,” says Solomon.

to build core strength To avoid these and other problems, Solomon recommends only two movements. As with any new compound movement, the mantra for both of these exercises is practice, practice, practice. “Remember that we all struggle when we first learn something,” says Solomon. “Make an effort to keep going. Keep giving yourself to everyone. The best way to succeed is to keep showing up. Enjoy the experience of figuring out your body.”

2 simple steps to build core strength

Stomach vacuum
(Photo: GettyImages)

1. Stomach vacuum or Uddiyana Bandha

Although some of you may be familiar with it as a bodybuilder The abdominal vacuum exercise, or Uddiyana Bandha, is actually a classic yoga movement and one of the three bandha practices for strengthening and toning the abdominal muscles. It can also be used to practice meditative, controlled breathing and energizing the body.

“It feels like the contents of your abdomen are being gently pulled up by suction,” says Solomon. “This causes the diaphragm to move up and release.” As she explains, this movement helps you connect with your entire core: TVA, diaphragm, and pelvic floor.

As: Stand up straight, raise your arms above your head, and take a deep breath through your nose. Exhale, leaning forward and place your hands on your hips. Be sure to exhale all the air, even when it seems that you have reached the end, with the help of the abdominal muscles, push out as much air as you can.

Then relax your stomach completely and get busy pelvic floor. This creates a lock. Make a swallowing action with your throat, and when you feel that your throat muscles are tensing, hold it. This creates a throat lock. Keeping your hands on your hips, take a fake breath with your mouth closed and your throat still compressed. Do this by rising slightly in a bent position. The pressure your diaphragm creates as it tries to draw air in the lungs causing your stomach contents to be sucked in and up. This should create a hollow cave or “vacuum” in the lower abdomen.

Keep the vacuum here for as long as you like. Solomon recommends no longer than 10 seconds for beginners. At the end of the hold, gently release the suction and inhale slowly as you stand back up. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Solomon recommends 5 reliable attempts empty stomach every morning. According to Solomon, it is better to abstain during menstruation.

(Photo: Getty Images)

2. L-sit

According to Solomon, the L-sit is the ultimate test of core strength. This is a chance to see how your body works together and if the TVA is working properly. “The L-sit, when done with the hips coming back behind the hands, will really target your TVA,” says Solomon.

As: Place your hands on either side of your hips and pull your hips slightly against the wall behind you. (In yoga, this is Dandasana, or Staff Pose.) Press into your palms and lift your hips off the ground. Keeping your legs straight and your toes pointing away from you, engage your abs and try to lift your feet off the ground.

Solomon recommends using yoga blocks at the lowest level under your arms to add height, making it easier for you when you’re starting out. “Don’t worry if you can’t lift your feet off the ground at first,” says Solomon. “Just focus on pressing hard on the yoga blocks and turning your hips.”

Breathe calmly through your nose to connect to the TVA. (Don’t hold your breath!) Focus on finding the “hell” feeling in your TVA. Try to hold for 30 seconds or as long as you can. Repeat five attempts. Do this exercise three to four times a week.

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