Weight loss and Flexibility | Strengthen the core: Are you doing these mistakes in your lunges, squats, and planks? Know the correct moves

Avoid Muscle Injury: Are your squats, lunges, planks right?&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspiStock Images

Key Highlights

  • Success of your weight loss journey hinges upon the body’s fitness. Lunges, squats, and planks are key moves in most good core workouts.

  • But they can actually cause back pain, if you have been focussing only on abdominal muscles.

  • That is why reviewing the right—and wrong—ways to do these three fundamental moves is worthwhile.

Whether striving for weight loss or just maintaining the body’s fitness, the most important part of your exercise regimen will be strengthening the core.

What is the core? The core is the torso or the centre of our body (the girdle of muscles, bones, and joints that links your upper and lower body) and it functions to stabilize the trunk while the arms and legs move during functional movements. What does the core do? The core is the stabilising part of the body on which the shoulders stabilise. The many different muscles in the abdomen, back, sides, pelvis, and buttocks make the core, work together to allow you to bend, twist, rotate, and stand upright. Why is there so much hype over how to strengthen the core and why we MUST strengthen the core? That is because a strong core governs almost all your body movements as your core muscles are the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball or mopping the floor, the necessary motions either originate in your core or move through it.

If your core is not balanced, capable, strong, stabilised — you can forget managing simple but key everyday tasks such as bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, sitting at your work table, working on the laptop’s keyboard, turning to look behind you, hitting a ball with a bat, or simply standing still.

Here is what a Harvard report says:

Even if developing rippling abdominal muscles or washboard abs as they call ’em is your holy grail, it’s essential to trim body fat through diet and aerobic exercise and build it through frequent core exercise sessions. 

“Good form protects you from injury and helps you gain the most benefit from each exercise,” says Joy Prouty, a master trainer who helped develop Harvard Medical School’s Core Exercise report, which includes tips on proper alignment, form, and posture. “But when I walk around the gym, I see people doing these exercises the wrong way all the time.”

Lunges, squats, and planks — There are right—and wrong—ways to do these three fundamental moves.

Core Exercise #1: Plank

Plank right and wrong illustration

The Right Way:

  1. Hold abdominal muscles tight, shoulders should be in line directly over the elbows.
  2. The body is properly aligned so that neck and spine are neutral, face looking down at the floor.
  3. Shoulders are down and back, the only body part touching the floor is toes, forearms and hands.

The Wrong Way:

  1. The Head is lifted and the neck is craned, torso sags toward the floor. 
  2. The neck and spine are not in a straight line. This slouching defeats the purpose and invites injury.

Core Exercise #2: Squat

Squat right and wong way strengthen core

The Right Way:

  1. Knees, hips, and toes are pointing forward, buttocks stay above knee level.
  2. Knees aren’t extending beyond toes, the chest is lifted, and shoulders are down and back
  3. Back is neutral, no slouching arch seen, feet and knees are pointing straight ahead.
  4. Shoulders, hips, and knees are even, abdominal muscles are tightened and pulled in.

The Wrong Way:

  1. The back is arched, the chest isn’t lifted, arms are overextended.
  2. Knees extend beyond her toes, knees and toes are turned in.

Core Exercise #3: Lunge

Lunge right or wrong way coreThe Right Way:

  1. Knee of the forward leg is aligned with the ankle. The heel of the rear leg is lifted off the floor.
  2. Back knee bends enough to form a straight line from shoulder to hip to knee.
  3. Back is neutral, and chin is parallel to the floor – not lifted up nor gazing down.
  4. Shoulders and hips are even. Abdominal muscles are tightened and pulled in.

The Wrong Way:

  1. Body is slouching forward, not upright. 
  2. Knee is not properly bent to form a straight line from shoulders to knees to hips. 
  3. Back is curved and the head is lifted.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

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By Betty C. Giordano

Welcome to my site. My name is Betty C. Giordano and I am a blogger of everything related to mobile, news, events and reality in general. I hope you enjoy reading my content.

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