As a woman you generate most of your strength and stability from your hips. Women tend to have strong legs but tend to have relatively poor core strength by comparison. Our hinges tend to be more injury prone due to the connective tissues being more lax at certain times of our cycle. We have wider hips which can lead to us being slightly knock-kneed and our shoulders are vulnerable as well due to weaker muscles and looser supporting tissues. However with a stronger full core (everything but your head, arms and legs) a lot of these imbalances can be counter acted.
So when we talk about a strong full core, one of the best stabilising muscles you have are your glutes ( butt muscles) when these are strong they come into action first and keep your pelvis rock steady and allow your quads to support your legs and not collapse inward. If we then move up from the waist, strong obliques, abs and back muscles keep everything in line to create one solid unit.
So to build a strong core you do not need to just concentrate on doing 100’s of crunches or sit ups, as they often replicate the bent over position you spend a lot for the time in at work sitting at your desk. Planks are much more beneficial, they work yours abs twice as hard as crunches and also help strengthen your glutes, shoulders and back, they will improve your posture and help you stand straighter. Planks will help strengthen your inner core (the deepest abdominal muscles) that act like Spanx to hold your midsection, both front and back holding everything firm and tight.
Your glutes and hips are your body’s steering wheel, keep them strong for better balance and stability.
At Body planners we always think about the core strength of our clients, we help them build up their strength in this area to enable them to lift stronger and perform better in their sessions. Within our BP 45 (HIIT sessions) we include specific exercises aimed at strengthening the whole core for example squats to strengthen the glutes, military presses for the shoulders, deadlifts for the back to name but a few, of course plenty of planks and the odd sit up!
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