Most people are familiar with the peculiar experience of repeating a familiar word so many times that it starts to sound strange. That may be a fun and puzzling exercise, but excessive repetition sometimes dulls what ought to be an otherwise essential recognition of important priorities.
A perfect example of this is core strength. The term is thrown around so often without explanation that it has become a banal catchphrase for some, rather than of a concrete concept with specific meaning. Many people slap the label of “great core workout” on just about any and every exercise these days.
“A solid core can help lower back pain, improve your posture and even help you breathe better”
Of course, the necessity of maintaining core strength has never fluctuated based on cultural references or awareness. Although it’s great that not everyone simply targets the “glory muscles” in isolation the way they once did in decades past, people still need to be able to distinguish between workouts that actually target core muscles and those that do not.
Here to help provide a solution to this core dilemma is Nikki Metzger, one of the OG fitness influencers for Generation Active. She is the founder, owner at BODI, a high intensity strength and conditioning workout studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she also works as a trainer. In 2015, Women’s Health tabbed her a “Next Fitness Star,” a prediction that has since come to fruition.
A stronger core also helps to prevent various injuries and improves overall movement. It will also boost cardiovascular strength, which aids in every type of exercise. Thus, improving your core can yield breakthroughs with other muscle groups, like legs, arms, shoulders and back.
For those getting started or looking to supplement their current routine, Nikki suggest the following:
- Mountain Climbers
- Hollow Body
- Plank Jacks
- Side Plank Rotation Right
- Side Plank Rotation Left
“Perform each move 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for five rounds,” Nikki says. By prescribing left and right planks, the workout targets obliques on both sides of the abdomen. It is important to keep these equal to avoid imbalance.
Watch Nikki show you how each move is done in the video below…
Cover model, gym owner, former Women’s Health Magazine Next Fitness Star and Nike Master Trainer.