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How important does training your abs fair when planning your workouts in the UAE?
Do you always include some form of core training? If your answer is ‘no’ then here are the reasons it should be YES!
Quite often I will monitor other people’s workouts around me in the gym in Abu Dhabi, intrigued by the process of how they plan their training; mostly to help me grow as a trainer by comparing my own methods to others.
But too frequently I see so many people shy away from training their core or lack of training by simply performing high repetition crunches or sit ups and calling it a day. Most people I speak to aren’t actually aware of the important core musculature surrounding their spinal column and unfortunately the only knowledge they have of their core is the typical ‘6 pack abs’.
Training your core efficiently is much more than your standard crunches or sit-ups or holding a plank for as long as you can. It holds so many more aspects in which we need to make sure we train.
The importance of core is in the word itself, when you look at your training as a whole, the main base and center upon which all training begins from is ‘the core’. It provides a solid framework for our spinal column and helps us from developing particular spinal deviations such as an increased lumbar curvature when the core is trained correctly.
Training our core is especially important as you become older as it is your main base of support and balance. So if you have a weak core as you get older you will be more susceptible to falls, thus increasing your chance for injury. This isn’t just limited to older people either, for anyone with a weak core this will also result in poor balance and base of support.
Not to mention if you are an avid sports person having a strong core musculature will help benefit you in key areas of your fitness. Such as power in swinging or kicking movements, improved overall conditioning in contact sports or even as simple as a healthy posture.
I strongly suggest before your next gym workout to Google some great balanced core workouts. I’m sure you will be surprised and quite pleased with the range of exercises you can learn.
My own personal method I use when I’m planning core workouts for my clients or myself is breaking the workout into 5 parts.
Part 1 – Upper Abs (crunches, knee taps, extended arm crunches, half sit ups)
Part 2- Lower Abs (leg raises, reverse crunches, criss-cross, dynamic bounces)
Part 3- Full or Complete Abs (sit ups, v-ups, alternate toe touches)
Part 4- Plank variations (normal plank, extended arm, side plank, military)
Part 5- Balance training (stork stance, single foot stance (change variations eyes open and closed, foot on unstable surface such as a balance disk or bosu ball)
Then of course you have your repetition and set range, this will be personal to your fitness level or even by time range in which you have to complete. For example, someone who has a weaker core might like to begin on a rep range of x 15 and completing 1 set; whereas fitter individuals might fare better by completing x 30 reps of each and 2-3 sets.
Play around with your work-out, vary the exercises, rep range, the equipment you use and intensity you train at.
Something is always better than nothing BUT incorporating a balanced core training in each of your workouts is the BEST.
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