A personal trainer has shared the workout moves she uses with her clients to help them build a strong core, and revealed why having good core muscles is so much more than just having visible abs.
Rachael Attard, from Sydney, said hundreds of clients she works with come to her asking about improving their waistline, and she always tells them it’s helpful to think of their core as a ‘box’.
This box includes the diaphragm on the top, the pelvic floor and hip muscles on the bottom, ab muscles to the front and lower back and glute muscles on the back.
A personal trainer has revealed the workout moves she uses with her clients to help them build a strong core (PT Rachael Attard pictured)
Rachael Attard said hundreds of clients come to her asking about improving their waist, and she tells them it’s helpful to think of their core as a ‘box’ (a client transformation pictured)
‘Building a strong core is important to developing a healthy, strong body overall,’ Rachael wrote on her website.
‘Forgetting about core muscles can lead to injury when working out or when doing everyday tasks, such as lifting a child or gardening.’
In fact, if you’re someone who works out a lot but who doesn’t focus on your core, you could inadvertently be causing imbalances throughout your entire body.
‘Building a strong core is important to developing a healthy, strong body overall,’ Rachael (pictured) said – as it means you’re more likely to nail exercise moves without getting injured
Rachael said mountain climbers (pictured) are one of the best moves you can do to target your core
Planks and side planks are great for activating your entire body, not just your core muscles (pictured)
According to the PT, building a strong core means doing exercises that work on ‘all parts of your core, not just your abs’.
When doing core movements like crunches and sit ups, be careful not to do them too quickly – as this can lead to jerky spinal movements and could cause more harm than good.
Instead, Rachael recommends you do all of the movements slowly and steadily, holding each one to allow the muscle fibres to strengthen and develop.
Her favourite moves include bridges – which activate your glutes and lower back, crunches – which are great provided you don’t put too much pressure on your spine, and planks – which work the entire body.
She also likes to encourage clients to do mountain climbers, side planks with rotation and toe taps or touches.
‘Doing a side plank with a rotation will help strengthen your arms, shoulders, and obliques,’ Rachael said.
‘The obliques can be hard to target and many people forget to focus on them.’
Not only does having core muscles lead to improved balance and stability, but it means you’re less likely to fall over and hurt yourself (one of Rachael’s client transformations pictured)
‘A strong core can reduce back pain and prevent future health problems,’ Rachael said (client transformation pictured)
The benefits of having a strong core are myriad, Rachael said.
Not only does having core muscles lead to improved balance and stability, but it means you’re less likely to fall over and hurt yourself, and more likely to perform workout moves correctly.
‘A strong core can reduce back pain and prevent future health problems,’ Rachael said.
‘Weak core muscles can lead to poor posture and muscle injuries, and strengthening these muscles protects your back from future problems.’
If you have back pain, a physiotherapist will typically advise you to do core moves at home to improve your strength.
To find out more about Rachael Attard, you can visit her website here.