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I am looking into a wide variety of workouts to keep from getting boredom. There is a term that seems to be thrown around here: core training. My question is what is it and who should be doing it? Is it advanced and hence only for the very athletic?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Your core is the neck, abdominal, back and hip muscles which are used for stability. In a very real sense, your strength can be limited by your core. In fact, a large part of your power production comes from your core strength.

Core training is strengthening your abdominal and back muscles to provide more stability for the rest of your work. It's a critical part of training, and everyone should have some core training in their regimen. Anyone who exercises should keep their core strong because working extremities without using core muscles leads to excessive strain on your extremities. An imbalance of core and extremity work can cause core (back) and extremity pain or injury.

As to the specifics, it depends on the rest of your training. Someone who is working toward a 400lb squat and 500lb deadlift will need more core strength than someone who is focusing on body weight exercise.

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Someone working toward a 400lb squat and 500lb deadlift will need more core strength than someone who is focusing on body weight exercise, but would they need more core training separate from what the squat and deadlift provide? – Kate Dec 6 '12 at 19:33
You get strength from training. The higher you go, the more core training is required over and above your pulls and squats. – Berin Loritsch Dec 6 '12 at 19:38
How important is it for total muscle mass? (If you want to gain muscle mass to burn more fat) – Olav Dec 10 '12 at 20:25
You won't be able to lift the heavy weights required to build muscle mass without a good strong core. Whether you are doing sub-maximal weights with high reps, or pushing for personal bests, you need a good strong core. Some exercises help improve your core such as squats and deadlifts, but there will come a time when you need dedicated core work as well. – Berin Loritsch Dec 10 '12 at 20:58

The core of your body is the center of your body (back and abs) also known as the trunk. This area provides strength and stability to the rest of your body. Core training includes exercises that affect your abdominal muscles, obliques, lower-back and glutes. When you do core training you can get a perfectly toned six pack and powerful mid section if you regularly workout each muscle group.

Many people believe that core training is all about doing crunches, but that’s not true! It also includes planks, Russian twist, med ball standing twist, med ball wood chopper and jump rope.

Core training is best suited for an athletic person like a runner or cyclist, water surfers and wrestlers. But core workouts are also good for non athletic people and for those not in the sports industry as it reduces the risk of lower back pain, neck pain, torn muscles, ruptured disks, strained ligaments and incontinence. Strong core muscles help you maintain the correct posture and reduce the strain on your spine.

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