Abs vs Core
The good ol argument of “abs” vs “core”. This is not to say that one is better than the other but rather to create awareness, educate on the differences (pros/cons), and to be sure to train both.
Let’s first clear up what each of them actually means. Doing “abdominal exercises” is mainly focusing on the muscles of the abdominal wall in the effort to create that “6-pack” aesthetic. These include but are not limited to; sit ups, leg raises, bicycles, and crunches.
Doing “core exercises” is very different. You’re training the muscles of the abdominals, back, hips, and pelvis. By doing this you’re creating balance in the body, protecting and strengthening the muscles surrounding the center (core) of your body, and reaching towards a strong and powerful body!
Anna Kaiser, founder of AKT, sums it up perfectly. “If you only focus on your abdominal wall, your back isn’t going to be as strong, and so there’s going to be an imbalance in your body,” says Kaiser. “You want them to be strong together and work together, and not have one overcompensate.”
In reference to what Kaiser says about compensations, not only focusing on bilateral (both sides of the body working together) exercises but rather unilateral (giving each side of the body the opportunity to support itself) exercises will drastically change the functionality of your core for the better.
Here are 3 goals of core exercises :
Balance and stamina
Protect and strengthen the muscles that are there to support us
Pelvis, back, spine, hips, and abdominals
By being able to rely on the core to be there when needed, due to proper training, individuals can avoid back injuries, falls, and other such unstable weak occurrences.
Here are 3 examples of core exercises: (clink links for videos and variations)
Now let’s get to core training!!