Why are some men so pumped on how much bench press they can do? Is it just to prove how strong they are? Or maybe, to achieve hard-rock abs?
Not a lot of people know that toning your core isn’t just for aesthetic purposes. Strengthening your core can help you do whatever you want. It is the powerhouse of your body.
Here are 27 core-carving killer moves for men and some reasons why you should do it.
1. Help prevent injuries
Building a strong core takes more than a few crunches.
For Martha Purdy, a physiotherapist and Pilates instructor with Halifax Health Centre, developing a strong torso means building both core stability (those deep internal muscles close to the spine) and core strength (think “six pack” abs).
“It’s important to build core stability first, and then build core strength,” Purdy explains. “You want to get the deeper muscles working first.” Purdy says that when you’ve got a strong core,”everything else will fit into place on top of it,” meaning your overall fitness will improve, making you less prone to injury down the road.
Even though it’s easy to presume that when we’re moving, our extremities do most of the work, the opposite it true: most movement starts at the centre and moves outward. A rock-solid centre will help ensure that your movements are strong and pain-free.
A simple but effective exercise for building core stability is to draw in the abdominal muscles (think about your belly button pulling away from your pantline), hold for five breaths, and then relax. Repeat 10 times. Purdy recommends doing this 10 times a day.
She also suggests women practice Kegel exercises, drawing in the pelvic floor to strengthen the lower end of your core (with the added bonus of better bladder control).