Start in the middle!


For those of us who workout minimally, how many times have you gone to the gym and had a very non eventful workout. It seems that every thing you try in the gym, even the simplest of task seems impossible to master. You always end up giving up and blaming it on the weak muscle part you tried to work.

How many of you have ever said this after a dismal workout:

  • It was because I have a weak chest
  • It was because my legs are weak
  • My arms are weak
  • I’m just too fat

There could be truth to all of these excuses but there is on constant in all of them. Have you ever taken into consideration that your core is weak? Your core is the center peace for all movement. The general area of the core is the mid-line of your body. It covers both the front side and backside. Your core muscles are made up of your abdominals, obliques (side), lower back, gluteaus and hip area.

When this area is weakened it is very difficult for your body to move explosively. Balance and coordination are also negatively affected. You could have very strong limbs but if there is no strong platform to draw power from, your limbs will never work to their full potential.

Inactive, overweight and morbidly obese people struggle with tis constantly. The simple act of sit-ups for them may no be just because of weak abs. Weak lower back muscles are also the cause and vice versa. People with lower back, groin and hernia injuries also struggle with this because their center of movement is for the moment is out of commission. Fit people who are recovering from injuries also have core issues on their way back to recovery.

There is an answer!

Instead of worrying about how big your arms can get or how thick or lean your thighs can get. Instead of worrying if anyone is paying attention to your rippling chest, take some time to start in the middle. Let’s explore our core and strengthen it with planks so we can get back to doing more for the rest of your body.

Planks are the best core exercise you can utilize. It forces your core muscles to work hard by stabilizing them in challenging and unbalanced environments. Before participating in any exercise please receive clearance from your local health care provider.

Basic Plank

For my beginners, use a table or a bench it makes supporting your bodyweight easier. Place your hands on the bench in a push up position while securing your feet evenly on a solid floor surface. Make sure your head, shoulders, lower back and knee are in one line. Engage your abdominal muscles by tightening them. Please remember never to hold your breath while performing this exercise, this elevates blood pressure and can cause injury for people that have high blood pressure or heart conditions.

Never arch your back, forcing you stomach to poke out, this can cause lower back problems. Think of you body as a board and it is the tightness of your abdominals that are keeping that board straight. Just imagine drawing your belly button toward your spine and holding it. Try holding this position for about 30 second to a minute. Rest a minute in between and perform the exercise at least two to three more sets.

You should notice your body shaking within a few seconds. That is your core firing up and working hard to keep your body in a stable position. You will also notice other parts of your body joining in to help keep you in position. You will also begin to sweat fairly fast. This is a true full body exercise.

The stronger you core is the easier you will be able to perform other exercises. Your posture will improve and because you core is strengthening your abdominal area will flatten.

If you want to find out more on how to strengthen your body with core exercises simply go to or find me on Facebook/Cjfunctional or Twitter @Cjfunctional.

You don’t have to be a fighter to feel like one. So let’s train!


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