Blog: Thrive Blog

Your Best Workout - Defining the Core

by Thrive Fitness Fitness, Workouts

Core strength.Trendy subject? Definitely. But when you hear about core strength; do you really know what it translates to, and what you should be doing to get there? The reason we are singling out the core is not to go along with a trend, but in our series of what a good workout should achieve, core strength is included as an aspect important enough to merit an entire blog post.

To date, we have covered strength training and flexibility. Together with this information on Core strength, you will be better equipped to constantly improve your goals, have better resistance to injury and reach all your personal milestones; to be the absolute best you can be.


Defining the core


Before even doing a single exercise, let’s first understand what the core is:

Now; your mind may jump to a strong and attractive midsection – and you won’t be wrong. But this is actually the cherry on the cake. Sexy, strong abs are just the happy result of training your core. But as usual, things go deeper. When you hear “Core” you have to think of all the muscles in your trunk area, most of which support your spine, as well as pelvic muscles. If you manage to strengthen these, you are well on your way to an entire host of benefits, which contributes to the popularity of this topic – Really, who does not want all of the below?

Such As:


  • A strong and healthy spine

As you strengthen your core, your spine gets more support. As those muscles get stronger, possible injury is less of a problem, and you can train a bit harder. Also, as a bonus, Core training promotes good posture, so no more damage by going through life’s motions without a second thought to your back.

  • Better balance and stability

Weak, unbalanced core muscles can affect your quality of life. It may lead to injuries, muscle imbalances and general under performance. Better balance translates into so many benefits in everyday life. Now you start looking taller and leaner! Your movements become more graceful and fluid in women, strong and purposeful in men. 

  • Athletes Improve their goals

From a strong core your limbs can generate much more powerful and directed movement. The core is where the strength comes from when a kickboxer leaps into the air, or a martial arts expert can kick a board in two. So too, an athlete swimmer, cyclist or any other athlete will handle limb movements much better and be able to focus their energy in a more productive manner.

  • Stronger, everyday life

So you can haul the baby, catch the toddler, ace the tennis game and really, be a much stronger person in general. Again with broaching the subject of getting older, maintaining a strong core while aging will definitely minimize the risk of injury. One great thing about a lively, active and stronger older person, is that they don’t have to rely on others, and so can maintain their pride and dignity, as it should be. You keep a top quality of living!


So now that you have decided core training is something you cannot live without, how will you go about this? While Yoga and Pilates are definitely a great way to go there, they are not the only things you can do. It will be well worth the effort to ask your personal trainer to help you engage your core in all the exercises you are already doing. Be more mindful and connected to your body, and your will get there sooner than you think!


What do our trainers have to say?


“Core strength is absolutely essential in any workout routine for a variety of reasons. Your core is literally the foundation of your strength. For practically every single exercise you do, you engage your core. By strengthening your core, you can prevent injuries, particularly in relation to your back. I absolutely love teaching core classes, and it's amazing what consistently working your core just two times a week has done for some of my students. I've been told they can feel a real difference in their everyday activities and that their core strength translates into a higher performance within other areas of exercise. My all-time favourite core exercises are planks - of any variation! Full planks, side planks, planks with leg raises/arm raises, the list goes on and on. They work your entire body while also helping to increase balance. Make core a core part of your workout routine, and your entire body will thank you!” - Dani Sanusi, Instructor, Thrive Community Fitness – Oak Harbor


“First, your core includes more muscles than most realize. The “core” is not just your abs, but your sides and back as well. It encompasses all the muscles that help support and stabilize your spine - not just the larger muscles, but the tiny stabilizing ones as well. When you perform exercises that require you to stand rather than sit, you automatically engage and demand the most from your core. If you're seated or lying down, your body uses whichever surface you recline on to create stability and the core gets lazy. Try holding weight and raising your arms overhead or away from your body and you’ll feel all those core muscles do their job. And if you alter your feet position, staggering them or bringing them closer together, you’ll be working on your balance at the same time.” - Lisa Crawford, Personal Trainer, Thrive Community Fitness - Anacortes.


Everything stems from your core; balance and strength. No core, no balance, no strength. You cannot neglect your core. Most people think of abs when you talk about core. Your core is from the middle of your quads all the way to the to the top of your pecs and all the way around your body. It includes, your quads, glutes, back, chest, and abs. Basically, it’s everything but your arms, neck, and lower part of your legs. Keep your core strong and everything else will be stronger.” - Kate Gomes, Personal Trainer, Thrive Community Fitness - Monroe

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