A lot of us approach working out from an aesthetic perspective. We want to see transformations in the mirror as a result of the hard work and sweat from our workouts.

I was recently reminded of this aesthetic motivation when a client pointed out to me that swimsuit season is in less than 4 months and she wanted to look better in a bikini this year than she did last year.

As a trainer, I appreciate every goal you set for yourself. Goals provide a tremendous amount of motivation while also creating consistency in your workouts. The goal will get reached while you are also creating a habit of working out which leads to a healthy lifestyle overall.

However, as a trainer, I also like to explain to my clients the practicality behind their workouts. After all, fitness has a lot of science that goes into its effectiveness and the more someone can understand that science, even on a basic level, the more efficient their workouts.

I understand wanting the 6 pack, the flat abs, the sexy core when you are in a swimsuit, but a strong core serves more than just the purpose of looking good in a swimsuit.

Training a strong core begins with knowing where your core is at and whether or not it is weak. Your core is comprised of more than just your abdominal muscles, it includes all of the muscles in your trunk, all the way around your body.

Things like consistent low back pain, poor balance, difficulty breathing, poor posture, and having pain in your hips, knees, low back, ankles, or feet when you stand can be signs of a weak core.

Since your core is responsible for holding you upright, it can take a great deal of work and can be something you train directly in every workout session.

Here are Three Immediate Benefits of Core Training:

Increased Spinal Strength

1. Increased Spinal Strength

A stronger back does not just mean less low back pain, it means more control over how your spine moves. When you have more control over how your spine moves, you have more control over how your transferring movement into your extremities. A better ability to transfer movement into your extremities means more effective movements.

  • Tabata
  • 12 Rounds
  • Alternate exercises each round
  • 20 seconds of work
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • Crunches
  • Russian twists
  • Bicycle crunches
Trainer Tip: if you do have a sensitive back or an injury that has been diagnosed by a doctor, do not use weights with the Russian twists. The increased load can lead to an increased risk of injury.

2. Increased Stability

Toning your core creates awareness in your body for how your body moves. When you can create a more stable foundation, any movement from it will be more effective. That effectiveness extends past the working out a part of your daily routine, like how you play with your kids or rush around your house to gather your things when you are running late.

Pro Tip: An effective way to work the core without doing a crunch is through unilateral work. Focusing on one side of the body and then the other builds neurological strength while also directly targeting the core to help stabilize the body while only one side of the body is moving.

Increased Stability

  • 4 Rounds
  • 10 reps each exercise
  • Single leg deadlift
  • Bent over rows
  • Plank pass throughs

3. Helps To Prevent Injury

Regardless of where you are at with your workout journey, nothing will sideline you faster than getting hurt. Oftentimes, pushing yourself in a workout means straddling that line of effectiveness and injury, so the more effective you can make the workout, the less likely you are to get hurt. On a bigger scale, when you effectively train your core, you are increasing your proprioception or the awareness of how your body moves in a fitness capacity. This awareness will allow you to make the connection on how the core impacts certain exercises, giving those exercises more power, and getting you better results.

  • 10 minutes
  • 8 single side thrusters
  • 10 mountain climbers
  • 12 plank hip dips

Even if your initial intention of incorporating core training into your workout regime is for aesthetic purposes, the benefits you will experience on a bigger level far outweigh leaving it out of your training.

If you are new to core training, start with bodyweight exercises twice a day for around 10 minutes. As your strength improves, consider adding in weights or more complex exercises that tax your core to avoid hitting a training plateau. Keep working on your core, keep training it so you can see increases in your strength as well as those flat abs you want just in time for bikini season.