Core Training Guidelines

Core training exercises differ from other weight training exercises by focusing exclusively on building endurance, rather than on creating strength and endurance. The reason for this is that your deep stabilizer muscles are made up of almost 100 percent slow twitch fibers that are designed to be working at all times. Unlike other mover muscles that are geared toward short bursts of work, your stabilizer muscles need to be working all of your waking hours. In addition, because core training works on improving movement efficiency, attention to form is critical.

The following are general guidelines for your core exercises:

  • Train for endurance: Do between twelve to twenty reps depending on the specific exercise. Certain exercises such as the plank are held for thirty seconds or more. Work up to two to three sets if time permits.

  • Emphasize control and perfect form: Focus on perfect form with every rep. Stop doing the exercise when you are unable to maintain form, regardless of the number of reps.

  • Exercise daily: Incorporate a few core exercises on a daily basis to remind you to use the muscles that keep good posture at all times.

  • Combine with stretching: Stretch at the same time that you do your core exercises to improve flexibility and to enhance balanced muscle development.

Keep these guidelines in mind as you do your core stabilization exercises.

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