Punching, kicking, bobbing, and weaving all require a strong core to really deliver power. But that isn’t the only reason to develop a strong core. Those core-sculpting moves—all found in the upcoming CORE DE FORCE—also deliver a slew of benefits ranging from fewer injuries to better overall workouts.
The Benefits of a Strong Core
The core isn’t made of just the glamour muscles. The abs (and obliques) are one part, but your back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis are also part of your core and they are just as—if not more—important when it comes to power and strength. Think of it this way: a strong core is more substance and less superficiality… more functional Spock, and less Captain Kirk bravado. Those visible abs are just the icing on the cake.
There are many benefits to having a strong core. It holds you up. According to Nadya Swedan, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist in New York City, a strong core can improve your posture and may help ward off aches and injuries, especially back pain. Many neck, shoulder, hip, knee, and even foot problems can be traced back to your core as well.
How a Strong Core Also Helps Your Workouts
If you walk, run, cycle, do barre workouts, or push play on any of Beachbody programs, a strong core can also help you stay balanced and coordinated. The gluteus medius plays a large part in this as it’s a key part of the core and the body’s primary hip stabilizer. You activate it anytime you balance on one leg.
It’s also responsible for how well your body transfers force between your legs and arms. Think pitching, swinging, kicking, and punching.
“A lot of our power and strength comes from the core,” says Joel Freeman, co-creator and star of CORE DE FORCE, which includes elements of mixed martial arts (MMA). “You can’t throw a punch—a good one, at least—without true core strength,” he says.
Nor will you be able to maximize your balance and coordination and master weight shifts and direction changes without it, he says.
Ready to start building a strong core? Here are two moves from CORE DE FORCE that can help.
“You can do these exercises no matter where you are within your training regimen,” says Freeman. “They work your body from the inside out, from the deepest local stabilizers around the spine.”
Do them at your own pace and you’ll feel how important a strong core is to stabilizing the body and how important it is to strength and power.
Two CORE DE FORCE Moves to Help Sculpt a Strong Core
1. Horizontal Leg Check
Get in plank position on your toes and forearms, elbows aligned under shoulders. Keep your abs pulled in, back flat, and hips still (don’t let them tilt from side to side). Lift your right leg and draw your knee horizontally toward your right elbow. Switch legs and repeat. Alternate sides for 1 minute.
2. Rear Push Kick, Front Push Kick, Shuffle Back
Starting in your dominant fight stance with your hands protecting your chin, drive your rear knee up and push your hips forward as you kick out in front of you, and let your foot land in front of you. Repeat this same motion with your opposite leg. Then push off the ball of your front foot to shuffle back, keeping distance between your feet. Repeat for one minute.