If you are looking to get amazing abs, there are far more effective exercises to be doing than crunches. I could run a whole course on why this is so, and what you should be doing instead. But this is just a post to get you thinking and to realize that there is far more to the core than meets the eye.
When I was looking for a picture to go with this post, it was difficult because I thought, most people will expect a picture of someone’s six pack, but that’s not all the core is. I could use a picture of someone doing a sport or an exercise, but that still doesn’t truly represent the core. Some people might think, well what does someone with a body that looks like that have to do with me, or, I will never do that sport or never be able to do that move, so why will I identify with that picture?
This is why I chose this Photo. These two men doing what they are doing has nothing to do with anything most of you will likely ever do, and yet it has everything to do with every part of the core that is involved plus much more in your bodies and so is very relevant for everyone.
Get ready, I have a major news flash! haha!! Some of you may already know this. Our core is made up of many parts, and our entire trunk from about the glutes up to the shoulder girdle is ALL Core! The full front and back! If you train your body only in isolation, you will do your body a disservice. You could seriously injure yourself either with an acute injury or through repetition cause a chronic injury and/or serious postural issues. There is so much more to say, but its really something that needs more time spent to teach people about.
I will return to this picture. Man #1 requires overall core stability and strength in order to support man #2 on his shoulders. He also needs flexibility and mobility. Not only that, but he needs full body stabilization through large muscle groups and small stabilizer muscles within the main core unit and the rest of the body (and you know man #2’s end goal is to totally stand up tall on top of man #1. Who knows…maybe he is even planning a crazy flip or something!). Man #2 needs everything man #1 has, plus the added requirement of balance. Another news flash….balance and stability are not one in the same, and you can’t have one without the other. These need to be trained differently. Both man #1 and #2 need the ability to use different breathing techniques in conjunction with how they use their overall core unit in order to execute what they are doing or are about to do.
So everyone, if you don’t train your full core unit, and the entire body in an INTEGRATED way, no amount of isolation exercises is going to do you any favors. What good is a body if it can’t move well?! If you train for functionality for activities of daily living, or for a sport or activity you may do, the side effect is great looking abs and body (provided you support proper training with proper nutrition).
You may be wondering now, how do I start to get myself working towards the right things?
Are you thinking, OH MAN….. I had no idea the body was that complicated, and now I think I have no idea what I am doing when I go to the gym, and no wonder I am not seeing any changes in my body!