Core and bodyweight training

Core health and fitness training are vital to building strength, flexibility, and avoiding injury. Your entire body’s movements made from your core! The core is the trunk area of your body, and it should be maintained in form for you to stay healthy. If you’re not exercising your core, you lack a more strong center of gravity, more controlled movement, and improved safety for your back. Begin with some core training now, and your body will be grateful for it!

Being familiar with your core!

Core strength can be built regardless of how your mid-section looks, but a flat abdomen is an added benefit of working those core muscles.

The core of the body is the space around your pelvis and trunk. It is the place where your midsection of gravity can be found, and it’s also vital to overall health. Toning up your core has lots of benefits:

  • Slimming down is a lot easier with a stronger core
  • Much better body control (controlled movements)
  • Improved safeguard for your spine and back in general
  • A well-balanced center of gravity
  • A well-balanced platform for quick moves in sports activities

If you have a solid core, your core muscle groups all interact together and support the back and spine! This support is important when attempting to burn fat or get into better shape. A weak core can make your prone to weight increases, injuries, bad posture, and lower back pain.

A Guide to the Core Muscles

Not only does a trained core make you look great; it is the primary muscle group that gives you support in an erect position. Your upright posture is a result of these three main groups of muscles of the abdominal core:

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Obliques
  • Intercostals

Rectus Abdominis

Typically called “abs” or “six-pack” or “washboard,” this flat muscle tissue runs the complete length of the belly. It connects just below the pectoralis group on top and at the front of the pelvis on the bottom. Its main objective is to hold in the bodily organs and enable the spine to flex forward, allowing us to bend forward at the waist.

Obliques

Composed of the internal and external oblique muscles, these two groups of muscles run the entire length of the chest from collarbone to the pelvis. Laterally they begin on each side of the Rectus Abdominis and wrap around the waist ending halfway down the spinal column to just on top of the buttocks (the gluteus maximus). As their term indicates, the internal obliques lie much deeper below the external obliques.

The two oblique muscles permit us to bend sideways and rotate our trunk area in both directions. Also, the obliques, similar to the Rectus Abdominis, additionally compress and contain the bodily organs. The obliques are also responsible for helping with digestive function and are the muscle groups employed when we intentionally exhale together with helping with good upright posture.

Intercostals

The intercostals muscle groups run between the ribs making up the wall of the chest cavity. Just like lots of the other groups of muscles, these too also split into both external and internal.

External – This section of the intercostals can be found on the outside of the ribs and do the job to enhance the dimensions of the thoracic cavity – the place from the neck to the diaphragm when contracted. Additionally, they help with regular and compelled inhalation.

Internal – The internal intercostals can be found on the inside of the ribs and do just the contrary – they help to make the thoracic cavity more compact when contracted and help with the exhalation, both regular and forced.

Building Core Muscles

Your core consists of the muscle groups such as your lower back, butt, abs, groin and pelvic region. The obvious way to activate these core muscles is by doing various full body exercises - they are the step to a solid foundation.

Because core muscle groups are not as easy to visualize, we could possibly not let them have their due respect in our exercise routines. However, they have high relevance in everything we do by supplying a steady base for exercise and pretty much all day to day activities we perform.

Although there are lots of exercises that can develop the abdominal core, these are the basics ones to start with:

    • Rectus Abdominis – crunches or sit-ups
    • Obliques – side bends and decline oblique crunches
    • Intercostal – trunk twists

To obtain a strong basis for the body, core training is needed. Some people put emphasis way too hard on certain parts of the body during exercise – the biceps, or abs, or some people overwork their legs. An excessive amount of attention to one place of the body can be undesirable – it can develop an imbalance in your muscle groups that may result in injuries. Persons can become obsessive about building one group of muscles and end up forgetting about the rest – this can be a bad routine to get into. Working on your entire body utilizing core fitness training is vital to finding the tone or quality you are interested in.

Finding out how to work your entire body and every one of the core muscle groups together is paramount to experiencing core fitness achievement. Many of the best core training workout systems make you do entire body workouts that really help to build up the core.

The 6 Core Principles of Pilates

Joseph Pilates often mentioned concentration, control, and breathing when speaking of the form of physical fitness he developed. And while he never actually laid out specific founding principles, eventual Pilates disciples pinpointed 6 core principles that must be present for you to benefit appropriately from this simple but powerful form of exercise.

The 6 core principles of Pilates are Concentration, Control, Centering, Flow or Efficiency of Movement, Precision, and Breathing.

In his book Return to Life Through Contrology, Joseph Pilates devoted an entire section of his introduction to proper breathing. He mentioned that if you breathe correctly, you cleanse your body by adequate blood circulation.

Precision, the practice of proper form, is also central to receiving the most significant health benefits. You improve your strength more from a few precise Pilates exercises then dozens of awkward movements.

Pilates, when appropriately performed, delivers an efficiency of movement and elegance in stature that is unmistakable.

Centering has to do with the center of your body – your abdomen, hips, inner thighs, buttocks, and upper and lower back. This is your powerhouse, and as a founding Pilates principle, all of your movements should flow outward from your center.

Control works with precision to put you in total control of every movement. The importance of this Pilates principle is reflected in the fact that Joseph Pilates named his form of physical fitness Contrology.

Finally, concentration reflects the fact that it requires intense focus to control your muscles and move properly.

A strong core will keep your back strong. Strengthen your #abs with an abdominal trainer. #Fitness

Bodyweight workout

With bodyweight training, you now don’t need any equipment. Ideally, you’ll get yourself a pull-up bar, which you can add into your doorframe for $5-$10 (you don’t even have to drill any holes). You might also want to get yourself some gymnastic rings for performing dips and other similar exercises.

But mainly, bodyweight training means training with only your own body. That means that:

  • You don’t need any equipment
  • You can train anywhere
  • You don’t have to travel
  • You can quickly adapt the training to match your own fitness level/time

In a moment, we’re going to look at an elementary training program called ‘SSE.’ That’s ‘Super Simple and Easy,’ and you’ll see that you can get a great workout in just ten minutes.

This makes all the difference in your training. Now, you only have to motivate yourself to do the press-ups. There’s no going out in the cold, no lifting heavy, painful iron into position. No spending money on equipment or fees. No being gawked at by other people working out.

Now you train when you like, where you want, how you like. It’s fun, it’s quick, and it’s effortless.

And there are more reasons to love working out with only your bodyweight too.

If you want to be lean, ripped, fast and powerful then bodyweight can get you there.

For example:

Low Injury Rate: When you’re training with weights in the gym, you’ll regularly be throwing around huge dumbbells and barbells and performing scary compound movements like squats. This makes it highly likely that you might put out a knee, strain your back or pull a muscle. There’s even just the simple risk that you might drop a weight on yourself!
For these reasons, bodyweight training is much safer. Now, the only weight is yourself. There’s nothing to drop, and pulling a muscle is much less likely.

Weight/Strength Ratio: Bodyweight training is something that will always adapt to meet you at your current level of performance. The stronger you get, the heavier you get. That means that the weight you’ll be pushing against will increase too and you’ll never have to buy anything new.

What it also means, though, is that you’ll feel light and powerful. You’ll be able to jump, run, and climb with more speed and power than you’ve ever felt.

No need to jump, run, and climb? Sure, it’s not really something most of us need to be able to do these days! But being able to do those things is really what’s exciting and interesting. This makes you feel powerful like a coiled spring to the point where you’ll outperform everyone in sports even and generally be much more formidable.

Let’s face it, most people – even guys – don’t want to look like a bodybuilder. If your aim is to be huge, to lose mobility and to run out of breath climbing the stairs, then great! But if you want to be lean, ripped, fast and powerful then bodyweight can get you there.

Flexibility and Proprioception: It goes further than that too. Working out with your body weight can necessarily give you ninja-like reflexes and skills. That’s because you’ll be using your whole body in conjunction all the time. You’ll be forced to balance, to generate explosive power and more and all those things help to make you more aware of your own body and your own shape. You’ll also improve your flexibility, which is great for your overall health. Even your brainpower can benefit from bodyweight exercise.

All this can eventually lead to you being able to make some incredible bodyweight moves. Once you’re further into your training, you’ll be pulling off feats like one-armed pull ups, planche, handstand push-ups and more. These are great party tricks and a great way to demonstrate total mastery over your own body.

Oh and because bodyweight training uses so much of your body, you’ll make yourself more tired, and you’ll burn more calories too and improve your aerobic fitness. Bodyweight training is perfect for all-around health.

Adaptable: Finally, bodyweight training is excellent for people who are just starting, and it’s great for people who want to get into incredible shape. If you want to build big muscles, you might be worried that bodyweight training is not for you. You can make massive muscle if you’re going to, you just need to know how to push yourself with your own body alone.

Bodyweight training is the perfect solution when it comes to building muscle, losing weight, getting fitter and improving health all round.

At the same time, though, bodyweight training can also be used to burn lots of fat fast. We learn in the book how you can use bodyweight in conjunction with Tabata and HIIT to melt off fat and increase VO2 max.

But if you’re just a beginner and you want something mild, easy and gently – then you’re once again in the right place! Bodyweight training can mean using easy and simple moves like wall press-ups, sit-ups, and press-ups with your knees on the floor. This doesn’t have to be hard at all, and it really is something that anyone can do!

In this part, we’re going to look at the easiest and most effective way to burn fat and build muscle – and we’re giving it to you entirely for free!

The workout is called Super Simple & Effective. This is how it’s going to go:

  • 30 seconds push-ups to failure
  • 30 seconds pull-ups
  • 30 seconds jump squats
  • 30 seconds rest

You then repeat that five times for a total of 10 minutes of training.

Firstly, let’s take a look at some ways you can make it easier/harder to match your level of experience and fitness.
For starters, those who can’t do push-ups can replace those with either push-ups with your hands against the wall (standing up) or push-ups with your knees on the floor.

Likewise, if you fail after doing 10 push-ups but there are still 15 seconds on the clock, move immediately onto one of these easier variations and carry on. This is called a ‘mechanical dropset.’

Likewise, if you can’t do pull-ups, then you can lower the bar close to the ground and rest your feet on the floor. This way, you’ll only be lifting the upper portion of your body, and this will make the movement significantly easier.

Alternatively, if you can’t lower the bar, then you can pull up a chair and use that instead by resting your feet on it. You can even put the bar entirely underneath you and use your feet and legs to help yourself through the movement somewhat. Don’t wholly take your weight on your legs, but just use them to help yourself get up slightly. This is called an ‘assisted pull up.’

Finally, make sure when you’re doing your jump squats that you are squatting all the way down and touching the floor with legs together, before bursting up and splaying your arms and legs in a starfish shape. This is an explosive way to train your legs and is similar to a squat in that regard (but more explosive and full-body). If you find this too hard, just do tuck jumps.

On the other hand, if you want to do the exercise that bit harder, then you can do a whole range of things. For instance, you might opt to do one-armed press-ups/pull-ups or you may do clapping press-ups. You can also vary the exercises by doing things like dips, like one-legged squats, etc.

Mostly, you can do whatever you like, as long as you are performing one compound ‘pull’ exercise, one compound ‘push’ exercise, and one compound move for your legs. This way, you will be utilizing nearly the entire body, and the result will be that you build a lot more strength and burn a lot more calories (it also means no part of the body will be ‘left out’).

How to Use it and Why it Works

The goal of six pack abs mainly depends upon losing weight by completing exercises that focus on the muscles in the abdominal area.

So what’s so great about this type of training? Why should everyone do it? And how do you get the most out of it?

Let’s answer that last question first. To get the most out of bodyweight training of this kind, you’re going to do it first thing in the morning before you’ve showered or eaten. However, you must give yourself ten minutes before you star as you are slightly more prone to injury when you first wake up.

By doing this ten-minute workout first thing in the morning, though, you’ll notice a few benefits.

For starters, training first thing in the morning means that you’ll be able to train when you have plenty of energy before you start getting browbeaten by the day. This is the point in the day when we actually have the highest motivation and will power, so if you stick on some good music, you should find that you can talk yourself into doing just ten minutes.

And that’s the other thing: this is just ten minutes, and it won’t leave you exhausted or in lots of pain the next day. At the same time, though, it’s ten minutes of intensive training, and actually, this exercise is more than enough to burn a significant number of calories and to add some muscle over time. Specifically, this will burn between 100 and 200 calories, which is enough for you to eat an extra chocolate bar and get away with it! It should also help improve your general health and fitness in all of the different ways that we saw earlier!

There’s more too! By doing this training first thing in the morning, which means it will count as ‘fasted cardio.’ Fasted cardio is cardio that you perform when you haven’t eaten anything – such as when you first wake up after a night’s sleep. At this point, your body can’t burn sugar for energy, and so it’s forced to burn fat instead. Thus, training at this time in the morning is more likely to lead to enhanced fat burn, and this is a technique used by many people trying to lose weight.

Additionally, training before you go in the shower means that you aren’t adding ‘shower’ onto the long list of additional things you have to do. Train at any other time of day, and you can often end up showering more than once. This then means that you’ll end up spending an extra 10-20 minutes showering on top of training, which is tough when we’re all so perpetually busy.

Finally, because you’re training in the morning and in your own home, that means that you can train in your boxers that you were wearing yesterday. This way, you are creating zero extra washing, so that isn’t an issue either.

All this adds up to mean that with this particular workout, ten minutes does mean ten minutes. And this is ten minutes at the time of day when you’re most likely to train. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it has excellent benefits.

Of course, this isn’t going to be enough training if you’re looking to get a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger or if you’re intending on competing in the Olympics. In those cases, you might be tempted to hit the gym properly or to use one of the more intensive types of training that we discuss in the full book.

In that case, you can use the Super Simple & Effective workout on top of your other training. This is perfect because it now means that you’re able to train twice in a day a lot of the time and add an extra 200 calories on top of those 500 you would be burning anyway.

It also means that you’ll be increasing your anabolic response, and you’ll be staying more active. The human body wasn’t designed to spend all day sitting around and then to exert itself intensively for 1 hour. This way, you come a little closer to using your body as it was designed to be used – continuously and throughout the day. In the full book, we learn more about how you can train ‘incidentally’ throughout the day to gain more strength and more muscle. The Super Simple & Effective workout, in particular, is light enough that it won’t lead to overtraining when combined with your regular routine.

Finally, this is the perfect antidote to the busy life that keeps getting in the way. If you find that you often have to skip gym sessions because you’re just too busy, then having done this quick routine first thing in the morning means that you’ll always have done something, and that makes a huge difference.