stop over-working your core
I find it strange how much emphasis many exercise regimes put on working ‘the core’ when it’s area that, if you are sat down most of the day, is spending lots of time contracted anyway. Your ‘core’ (most people mean abs) are part of the group of muscles that are clenched when you have a hunched forward posture .. why would we want to create more strength into this?
Most Westerners need more of a priority focus on building strength in their hip flexors, glutes and spine, which will help improve their posture, keep them balanced and upright and and will help take tension out of the front of the body.
Most people would benefit significantly more from relaxing and stretching their core, and building strength into these other areas. Once these areas become stronger, some gentle core work will be more beneficial.
There’s also a lot of instruction to ‘engage your core’ during movements that actually involve no direct action from the abs. When you teach your body to work muscles at the wrong command, this creates compensation.
I frequently find with my clients that they are so over engaged in their abs that they can’t turn them off. Their abs compensate. They have worked their ‘core’ so much that other muscles forget what they are supposed to be doing. I spend a lot of my time teaching people what hip flexor work should feel like vs what your abs are actually responsible for.
When your abs take over the work that should be happening from the hips it causes all sorts of problems!
This routine has been designed to teach your body the difference between ab and hip work, as well as strengthen the all important glutes and spine, which will help stretch you out along the front of your body.
N.B – Please listen to your body, if anything feels wrong to you please don’t continue to do it. This will bring you further towards injury and will not progress you. However, it should definitely feel like hard work and this routine isn’t for faint hearted!