To Your Health
June, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 06)
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Horizontal Swings
Hold a light dumbbell in your hands. Straighten your arms in front of your body, stand with your legs wide apart and slightly bent, and rotate side to side.

Start slowly to get the feel for your range of motion and gradually increase the speed to contract your oblique muscles. Align your head with your torso as you rotate.

Core Training Done Right

Strive For Balance
Prevent overloading any one muscle by choosing exercises that get multiple core muscles working at once. When you exercise a muscle on the front of the body, proceed with the corresponding exercise for the back of the body.

Take Breaks
If your muscle feels tired or weak, stop and move on to the next exercise. After working a certain muscle group, give your body a day between workouts to allow the muscles to recover.

Woman does situps on excercise ball. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Master The Technique
Perform all exercises in a slow, controlled way to stabilize the body and isolate the muscles. When starting a new exercise regimen, start small and build your way up to more repetitions, and take time to learn the correct technique the first time.

Don't Forget To Breathe
Your blood pressure can escalate to dangerously high levels if you don't maintain a normal breathing pattern. Fight the instinct to hold your breath during an exercise and carefully monitor your breathing.

Get Help
As with any exercise routine, it's a good idea to have a fitness expert or trainer help you perfect your technique to prevent injury and ensure maximum results.

In addition to these exercises, you may want to incorporate tools such as medicine balls, wobble boards, and even Pilates and yoga programs to vary your core workout. Consult your doctor as well as a fitness specialist or athletic trainer to find the exercises that work best for you. While core training is a critical part of your workout routine, aerobic exercise and other forms of strength training also are important contributors to overall health.

The movements you make in the gym don't always give you strength for your daily activities. Doing abdominal crunches on a weight machine may not give you the strength, balance and agility to catch yourself after a fall, lift your children or maintain proper posture at work. Real life is full of surprises. Be ready for the unexpected by giving your body the strength it needs.