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The center of your appCOREle =)

My current research has developed upon the concept of female physiology and how different factors can relate to a women's fitness and overall wellness. Over the next few weeks I will be doing more research and creating more blog posts that center around the understanding of female physiology. In her book ROAR, Stacy Sims, discusses the importance of a healthy core. When it comes to your CORE, unfortunately we need to be realistic about the idea of "six pack abs." Our core is way more than just a six pack, it goes beyond that. Here are some tips and factors that can allow for us to change the way we think about our core and about the exercises we use:

1. Your CORE is: from your shoulders past your hips (everything but your head, arms and legs!). It is the steering wheel of your body!

2. Building a stronger core can help prevent injury. I have suffered multiple knee injuries due to my body shape (hips pointing inward and being "knock-kneed"). Creating a stronger core means a better stabilizer for your legs, keeping them less prone to injury.

3. CRUNCHES ARE SO LAST YEAR! Sims reminds us that crunches do very little for our whole core, especially our glutes and back. We are in that same forward flexed position that most of us our already in when we sit for most of the day. So what does that mean?

We all love a good plank challenge! There are so many different ways you can incorporate planks into your workout routine.

1. Time test: how long can you hold your plank- try to increase it each week or two!

2. Variation of planks: side planks, plank tap outs, mountain climber planks, push up planks (just to name a few!)

* Fun fact: researchers found that the plank position made the abs work twice as hard as traditional crunches. Planks not just strengthen your core, but also improve your shoulders, back, and glutes!

Remember that engaging your core not just during your exercise routine but also throughout the day is important. The more you think about your core, the more strength you will build and improve your posture too!

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