Often core training is associated with an intense ab work out resulting in the ever-coveted six pack abs, but doctors and medical specialists often recommend core training for back pain relief.
Core training seems to be a more recent, buzz term used by the fitness industry, but coaches, athletes, and doctors have long recognized the importance of strengthening the body's core muscles (which include muscles in both the abdominal and lower back regions). Weak core muscles often lead to back pain, and Americans spend more time at doctors' offices for back pain than any other medical condition (except diabetes and high blood pressure). The core muscles stabilize the spine and pelvis as well so strengthening the weak muscles with core strength training can both prevent and end back pain.
Back pain relief is only one of many benefits from core training exercises and ab work outs. Other benefits of core strength training include better body control, reduced risk of injury, better posture, improved balance, and improved fitness. Even picking up a bag of groceries or lifting your toddler becomes easier when you have stronger core muscles. Ab work outs are included in core training so you may also notice fast weight loss, and because your posture improves your body appears longer and leaner.
One of the reasons so many Americans suffer from back pain is that we are, in general, a very sedentary country. Many Americans work in an office, sitting at a desk eight hours a day, and remain sedentary on our work commute as well. Sitting for such prolonged periods of time and little or no exercise causes weight gain and weakened muscles (in particular the core muscles, or muscles in your midsection). Back pain sufferers will be relieved to learn core training is easy, can be done by people of all fitness levels, and core training exercise equipment is readily available and very affordable.
Trainers often recommend exercise balls (also called balance balls or stability balls) as one of the best ab work outs for women and men. Doing traditional ab work out exercises such as crunches on an exercise ball works more of your body's core muscles because they're challenged by the instability of the ball. If you're new to using an exercise ball for core training, consider the TRAINERball with the most effective core training exercises illustrated directly on the ball. Part of a core training program can include just sitting on a stability ball while you're watching tv, or on the computer. If you enjoy sitting on an exercise ball you may want to consider purchasing an exercise ball chair for more versatility.
Take improving your balance to another level with a balance board (sometimes called "wobble boards") for core training. A balance board consists of a flat surface that looks like the top of a skateboard, which rests on a rotating barrel. You stand on top of the balance board and use your core muscles (and different lower body muscles) to keep your balance. The balance board is a really fun ab work out, and once the basics are mastered you can do advanced "tricks" or core training exercises; currently the Bongo Board Balance Board is the hottest balance board on the market.
Medicine balls may remind you of childhood physical education classes, but these weighted balls are a fun way to further engage your core muscles during an ab workout. Available in a variety of different weights, medicine balls can be tossed back and forth during sit-ups with a partner in addition to a variety of other core training uses. Like the exercise balls and balance boards, medicine balls are perfect for a home work out because they take up such little space. You used to need a home ab work out partner to use a medicine ball, but the AbSolo Abdominal Core Intensive Training System lets you have all the fun of core training with a medicine ball by yourself. The AbSolo Abdominal Core Training System incorporates crunches with medicine ball tosses, and reviewers had so much fun they didn't want to share with others.
There are a variety of fun, innovative products for a core training program. The Giddyup! Core Exerciser mimics a horse's galloping and trotting; think a less intense ride than mechanical bulls, but more fun core training than traditional crunches on an exercise mat. The TendoFlex Core Strengthening and Flexibility Equipment is unique in that it provides core training but also promotes muscle relaxation (music to the ears of back pain sufferers). Inversion tables (also called an "ab training table") use inversion to stretch and tone the body, and offer a more effective ab workout. When you are just beginning a core training program you may want to start slowly and initially just work on stretching your core muscles. The CoreStretch helps you gently stretch a variety of muscle groups, and improve your spine health that is such an important key to living without back pain.
With back pain being one of the most common health problems among Americans, ActiveForever sells numerous core training and back pain relief products. A core training program can be a great way to prevent and end back pain, but you should consult your health care practitioner before starting any new physical activities when you have a health condition. Whether you are a physical therapist or chronic back pain sufferer check out ActiveForever's comprehensive website to view all the high-quality, affordable back pain relief products we offer.