Tuesday, September 18 , 2018, 11:37 am | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

Fun and Fit: Do You Really Have Core Strength?

Well-developed chests and shoulders aren't the best indicators

[Noozhawk’s note: This is the fourth in an ongoing series on abs. Click here for the first part. Click here for the second part. Click here for the third part.]

Kymberly: If you can do 100 crunches, have super abs or can hold a hover for three minutes, does this mean you are core-some and awesome? For many, a strong core is defined by flaunting a six-pack. (Yes, you heard envy in my tone. Sure, I have a six-pack ... under my 12-pack.)

How can you know whether a certain look or ability translates into true inner strength?

Alexandra: Wherever your belt touches, that is your core, which means abs and back working together to keep you strong, braced and upright! Include your entire torso, and you have a good idea of what the “core” defines, besides just “fab-abs.”

Many of our students believe they are very strong in their core, sometimes because they have well-developed chests and shoulders. But does the ability to bench press your mama really mean you have a strong core? Maybe it just means you have a big chest and a small mama!

Let’s find out:

K: Did you try the move? Tougher than it looks, right? This exercise really tests whether you initiate movement from the center of your body or depend on your extremities to get you places. (For those of you who like high-techy terms, you want to start movement proximally, then have it translate distally, not the other way around.)

To use a crunch as an example, if you start the move by lifting your head, cranking on your neck or throwing your arms to get going, you are depending on the ends or extremities of your body to get some action in the core. Such action means you are working from the outside, in. If you can set up your body in a good crunch position and first engage the midsection, which then moves the shoulders and head off the ground, you are working from the inside, out. Movement stars at the center of the body and radiates out to the hands, feet and head.

A: All I know is that I radiate from all my insides and outsides! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go roll around on a mat somewhere. Quietly, by myself. In a darkened room with no mirrors or cameras.

Core-licious readers: Do you have core strength? What’s your favorite core move?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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