Men Over 50: Don’t Forget Your Core!
If you’re a man over 50, you absolutely need core training as part of your workout cycle
Whether you work out regularly or not, men over 50 need core training even more than other age groups.
When core muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and create a solid base of support. From this, we generate powerful movements throughout or bodies , including arms and legs.
However, when core muscles are weak and atrophied, these structural areas, most importantly the spine, become weight bearing and subject to loads and stress they can’t easily withstand, resulting in injury.
And injury can also come from over stress or tearing or core muscles that are weak and unable to withstand sudden movements or heavy loads.
What is the core?
Contrary to some thinking, abs have very limited and specific action, and what experts refer to as the “core” actually consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis, and run the entire length of the torso.
Here are the muscles generally considered the “core”:
Rectus Abdominis – located along the front of the abdomen, this is the most well-known abdominal muscle and is often referred to as the “six-pack” due to its appearance in fit and thin individuals.
Erector Spinae– This group of three muscles runs along your neck to your lower back.
Multifidus – located under the erector spinae along the vertebral column, these muscles extend and rotate the spine.
External Obliques – located on the side and front of the abdomen.
Internal Obliquesernal Obliques – located under the external obliques, running in the opposite direction.
Transverse Abdominis (TVA) – located under the obliques, it is the deepest of the abdominal muscles (muscles of your waist) and wraps around your spine for protection and stability.
Hip Flexors – located in front of the pelvis and upper thigh. The muscles that make up the hip flexors include: psoas major, illiacus, rectus femoris, pectineus, sartorius
Gluteus Medius and Minimus – located at the side of the hip
Gluteus Maximus, Hamstring Group, Piriformis – located in the back of the hip and upper thigh leg.
Hip Adductors – located at medial thigh.
As you can see, core-focused workouts target and engage a wide swath of muscles from your hips to your shoulders, and therefore demonstrates the need to do more than just sit ups or crunches.
Here are a few important reasons for a healthy core:
1) Back Health. A strong core equals a strong, stable back. Nothing will take men over 50 out of an active lifestyle quicker than back problems. A weak core can cause tearing of weak, overloaded back muscles or vertibrae disk injuries from an inadequately supported spine.
2) Greater Athletic Performance. All powerful movements originate from the center of the body out, not from the limbs alone. Before any powerful, rapid muscle contractions can occur in the extremities, the spine must be solid and stable and the more stable the core, the most powerful the extremities can contract.
3) Balanced Posture. Training core muscles helps correct postural imbalances that can lead to injuries. The biggest benefit of core training is creating functional balance and stability for the type of fitness that is essential to daily living and regular activities.
Coming next: fundamental exercises for a strong, healthy core.
If you want to be in the best shape of your life after age 50, get everything you need to change your life forever from our breakthrough work BestFit50.