The core is an area of the body that spans from just below the pectorals to just above the knees; the center part of the body in essence. It is called the core because of its essential function to nearly all the muscle group of the body. The only muscle that I would consider more important is the brain, which we all know about by now! The core is such an essential part of the body because it’s where all major strength originates from: lifting, walking, getting up, sitting down, running, weight lifting, sex, shoveling snow, etc. Basically, no matter what you’re doing, you’re using the muscles in the core. Even sitting on the couch, watching tv, eventually you will have to get up from the couch, which requires the core muscles.
Some might argue that due to the fact that you’re always exercising the muscle group one doesn’t have to focus on it in their exercises. I believe the contrary; because it is so important, it should be focused on double fold to ensure it is properly exercised, and exercised to the max. This means it should specifically be focused on in every exercise routine. What I like to do is between every set I do at the gym, I pull of 20-30 situps. So, if I’m doing about 3-4 different sets at the gym, I’m putting in close to 90 situps too. Not only this way, but in between each set of reps, I throw in various quick activities like knee ups where my hands are on the ground and legs are extended out on top of a exercise ball, bringing the knees up to your chest and back out, or inverted pushups where your against a wall upside down.
Some other common ways to focus on this region are as I mentioned sit-ups, which include all varieties, running, pilates rubber band pulls, yoga, lunges, and any sports related fun activity. Yes, even bowling will work the core.
The point is, work the core. You use it everywhere, and it’s the center of your body that you originate all of your energy from. It may not give you the big arms you’re hoping for, but it’ll give you a great ass, and abs that kill if focused on properly, which is just as important. With this, you will also find that you have increased stamina that comes in handy ALWAYS!