I hate doing situps. Seriously. The thought of “doing abs” repels me.
But you know what else repels me? The memory of my back screaming in pain as I hobbled down to the finish line in my first triathlon.
Your “core” involves your back, your buns, and your thighs. It’s pretty much the most used group of muscles in the body. You use your core to move your leg forward when you walk, you use your core to bend over and pick something up, you use your core to roll over and get up out of bed. Every day, you’re using your core. Sadly, the idea of strong core is more overshadowed by the aesthetic ideal of getting a six pack. There’s a million fitness gadgets out there promising tight and toned abs, a slim belly, a sexy waistline. There’s a million pins on Pinterest promising quick, easy, minimal effort workouts towards a slim belly. There’s a million surgeries, wraps, and creams all promising a sexy waistline.
As I was shuffling down the road, knuckles buried into my back trying to release the muscles, I didn’t give a damn about having a sexy waistline.
Instead, I was wishing that my core was STRONG.
Whether you’re just starting out on your fitness journey or working towards completing your first tri, you can’t neglect your core strength. Forget the sit ups- instead, hit every muscle with the almighty plank. Hold for 30 seconds, three times per day, and work your way up to holding for a minute. That simple move alone will save you a world of hurt. And as your core gets stronger, you will be amazed at how little backaches you thought were normal just melt away, or how your run pace gets a little faster, or how doing “abs” gets a little easier.
Want more? Check out my favorite trainers Karena and Katrina at toneitup.com and try one of their free ab workouts http://toneitup.com/category/fitness/abs/. Incorporate one of these routines into your routine two to three times per week and know that your core is getting stronger for race day. Who knows, you may even develop a sexy waistline in spite of yourself.