How to Engage Your Core

Published by activeforlife on

How to Engage Your Core

Have you heard a fitness coach or trainer tell you to:

Brace your core!
Engage your abs!
Stable midline!
pull your belly button toward your spine
flex your abs

Probably! So why is this so important?

Engaging your core during your workout helps reduce the risk of injury, especially injuries of the lower back. Also, engaging your core when performing abdominal exercises, ensures your abs are doing the work instead of recruiting other muscles to take over. This will make those moves more effective.

This might be something you need to work on if:

Your back arches while you perform shoulder presses or push-ups
Your back slumps while sitting down
Your lower back raises from the ground when trying to “hollow” your body
You lean far to one side when performing a single-arm shoulder press
You lose balance when performing single-leg exercises

How to Engage Your Core

Engaging your core means bracing and tightening all of the muscles in your core. It DOES NOT mean sucking in and holding your breath!

To engage your core, imagine that you are bracing yourself for a sucker-punch right to the stomach. You’re not going to suck in your stomach. You’re going to take a deep breath and tighten all of your abdominal muscles.

Your core engages naturally right before you laugh or cough, so if you initiate one of these actions, you’ll get an idea of how it should feel when your core is engaged.

You should be able to continue to breathe when you engage your core!

When is it important to engage your core?

Anytime you are lifting, moving, bending, or twisting!

Lifting weights? Engage your core!

Doing cardio? Engage your core!

Doing Ab workouts? Engage your core!!!

Sitting at your desk… Yep! It will still help to engage those muscles!!!

your core is the basis of almost every movement we make in our day to day lives, it is important to keep it strong.

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