Core Training: What Makes It Special

Have you been to a fitness center or a gymnasium lately? If so then you might have noticed some big colorful balls kept around the corners of the main fitness area. You might have also seen people using these balls for assisting them in exercises. All this is a part of what is now being known as core training. Core training is a training that includes specific exercises for muscle strengthening.

These days core training is becoming quite popular at several gymnasiums, health centers, and fitness centers. Many fitness experts believe that core training is a very special program and the reason is that it helps people to get relief from different types of pain and aches caused by poor posture and even weak muscles. Most of the times, people get back aches and lower back pain and this is because we are so used to working 24×7 on computers. Sitting in one place for too long with crouching back can lead to severe back pain and even critical back problems. Hence, core training has been introduced to offer relief from back pain apart from the fact that it also helps in improving the overall balance of the body in older people. These days, even athletes are performing core strengthening exercises in order to increase the stability of the body for peak performance.

Most people who are seeking a focus on physical fitness will have to work on aerobic activity as well as strength training, which will primarily enhance the larger muscle groups in the body and the limbs. On the other hand, core muscles will bring in certain amount of stability to most of the aerobic exercises as well as strength-training exercises. This is one of the many reasons why core training is being regarded as a very special and focused type of training.

Understanding Core Training

There are different types of exercises that can be performed for the back, the abdomen, calves, shoulder, chest and other muscles of the body. Each of the exercise is different from the other and is defined by a specific term. Similarly, Core training refers to a training that consists of exercises for enhancing the core muscle groups in the human body. With the help of core training, you will be able to improve the strength as well as enhance the endurance of certain muscles in your body.

The core muscles in the human body actually assist in holding the body steady and keep it in good alignment. So it doesn’t matter whether you are sitting on a chair for the entire day or playing a long game of football, your body will remain steady. As a part of the core strengthening exercises, you will learn to hold your body still while the trainers will apply destabilizing forces. Some of the other destabilizing forces include movement of arms and legs.

The Core Muscle Groups

The core muscle groups are stretched across the body but most importantly include the abdominal muscles as well as the back muscles, which assist in stabilizing the spine. Some of the core training instructors include various muscle groups like the muscles of buttock, the hips, inner thigh as well as lower and upper back muscles.

There are 4 different types of abdominal muscles, which form the six-pack and these are Transversus abdominus, Rectus abdominus, External obliques, and Internal obliques. The innermost or deepest abdominal muscle is the transversus abdominis, which needs to be fit enough to prevent any injury to the back. This is a fairly large muscle group that is wrapped around your lower body. If and when this muscle contracts, it will compress your abdomen. In fact, you will be able to feel the compression when you cough or breathe out forcefully. In order to engage this muscle group, more often than not, your fitness instructor will ask you to pull your navel closer to your spine. When you do that, you will feel the muscle moving deeper inside. This is an important muscle group of the core training.

There are two sets of internal and external obliques muscles that will help your body to rotate. These muscles will also assist the transversus abdominis to stabilize your body. The core back muscles will be engaged only when you lift your shoulders or legs while lying on your stomach.

Core training can be easily added to any exercise program although

Insulin: What Role Does It Play in Body Fat

Many people believe that insulin is a simple hormone that aids in blood sugar reduction. It has many functions in one of the main ones is growth and repair. He simply understand the function of insulin within your body you will be a will to better adjust your dietary intake to reduce the amount of fat upon your body. I can insulin is powerful hormone which is created in the pancreas and aids in the control and distribution of energy. Insulin levels elevate in response to food intake. When food is ingested into our bodies and our blood sugar rises rapidly you will secrete insulin to reduce and to store this energy for future use. The problem lies with the lack of calorie expenditure, in other words movement, exercise, get off the couch. I wrote about the efficiency and not calorie deficiency a few articles that and it stands to reason that the more we sit around the more we eat the more fat weight gain.You want to make sure that your meal consists of complex carbohydrates, fibrous carbohydrates, high-quality protein and good fats such essential fatty acids. Now of course, in my world this would be fantastic, however many people indulge themselves in way too many displacement foods. Displacement foods can be categorized by to the processed foods: such as nasty sports bars, all packaged commercial foods – such as donuts, ding dong’s you get the picture. Many and foods in heavy syrup, realistically anything made in the microwave on a regular basis and most sandwich meats.

I would got a little background on insulin let’s move into how insulin actually stores excess blood sugar. The main problem with eating many processed foods is a continual cascade of insulin secretion and cell sensitivity. Insulin most commonly is believed to take the blood sugar and convert it to glycogen. Then store it in the liver and muscle tissue. Well you can already see the picture is your couch potato eating potato chips, blood sugar rises insulin is secreted from the pancreas to reduce blood sugar to its normal level the excess sugar is converted by the liver into glycogen and then sent back out to be stored in the muscle and excess in the liver. The problem comes that your muscles and liver are already full. Your muscles and liver have a very limited storage capacity. So this ugly cycle continues over and over and over again. So what happens to that excess glycogen after it has been told no no by the liver and the muscles. It gets stored as triglycerides or fatty acids the problem lies in the form of fatty acids that is stored as : saturated fat (that’s right the worst type of fat you possibly could put in body). So inviting someone to go on high carbohydrate diet is ludicrous. Just ask yourself how they fatten up cattle for they are slaughtered for your primer of dinner at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse. Now you know! And you do it to yourself.

This brings up the subject of insulin sensitivity and it’s rapid rise in the western world. Insulin sensitivity in a nutshell “your cell receptors inability to except glucose as energy” and thus its leads to the above mentioned round and round roller coaster for fat gain. Your cell becomes resistant because of a constant bombardment of a toxic environment due to high insulin levels. The cells generally shut down as they get more and more pounded on by excess insulin due to excess process sugar intake. More insulin that is secreted due to excess blood sugar the more the cells are exposed to insulin and from that they become resistant to it. So to get the sugar/energy into cell the pancreas must produce more insulin to get the job done. This continues little by little until the cell becomes very resistance to insulin and has a very difficult time operating correctly. Both men and women suffer from this continual at producing machinery mainly due to again on healthy diet, delivers inability to break down and detoxify. Fat gain is associated with insulin insensitivity and the over-consumption of carbohydrates. This leads to many deficiencies in certain nutrients, minerals, vitamins such as vitamin B chromium magnesium sink and especially the main important fat alpha linolenic acid better known as omega-3’s. A lack of omega-3 fatty acids in this country is an epidemic the ratio between omega-3’s and omega six fatty acids should be one to four. Adding essential fatty acids to your diet can reduce carbohydrate cravings thus reducing insulin sensitivity.

Some things that you again want to avoid while reducing your carbohydrate consumption is alcohol. Alcohol is the number one reason your liver has a hard time breaking down any food substances. Remember alcohol is an empty calorie and contributes to a rapid rise in blood sugar followed by a rapid decrease in blood sugar called hypoglycemia. This leads to someone often eating more than they would regularly. Coffee and soda are another no no’s if if you want to lose body fat and improved your overall wellness. There are many adverse effects associated with the above three such as the insomnia, osteoporosis, nervousness, insulin resistance, decreased divided in mineral absorption and attention deficit syndrome.

Insulin is not just involved in carbohydrate storage in also aids in protein and fat storage. So if insulin is being decreased and not used efficiently in your ability to use protein and fat in the proper manner is heavily decrease. If you are someone trying again muscle mass in can see how this could affect your plight. It’s one also has to do with your immune system, storage of magnesium, blood lipids thyroid regulation, osteoporosis, aging and much more.

So in conclusion I would suggest a few things to get yourself on the right track. Try to avoid weight fluctuations, rapid gaining and rapidly losing of body fat it teaches your insulin and told insensitivity system to going to high mode at the first sign. That is why is very easy to gain weight after you lose it. Drink plenty of water, eat essential fatty acids, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, and exercise regularly.

Discover The Secrets Of Abdominal Workouts And The Right Diet For A Well-Toned Stomach

By David Grisaffi

A flat stomach is a prized possession however it does come at a cost! A well-toned stomach is a stomach that gives you confidence and physical appeal. It makes you the subject of envy and at the same time the epitome of a fit and healthy body. However, a flat stomach needs your attention and care. Regular abdominal workouts and the right diet are the secrets to a wonderful abdomen. Both are hard to invest in however once you invest in them you get long term returns for a lifetime!

As mentioned above the right abdominal workouts and diet go hand in hand. Abdominal workouts need to be done on a regular and dedicated basis. Be it the gym or just simple home workouts these exercises central the core of the body and target strengthening your mid-section. Abdominal workouts include anything from the simple cardiovascular exercises like walking, running, sprinting or cycling to the sophisticated machine based gym training sessions.

There are many people who will advise to be on the low fat diet that is in reality a high carbohydrate diet. These low fat diets actually do not help at all. They are effective in burning fat and muscle tissue for a limited period and do not yield any long term results. The above low carbohydrate diet is the only diet that will burn the excess fat that is present in the abdomen and help in reducing the belly fat. The low fat diet will not help you as effectively and it also has the disadvantages of slowing down the metabolism in a person.

Apart from the above two important factors you also have to follow a healthy lifestyle. You must sleep well to ensure that your body functions properly. A good sleep helps you to relax tired muscles and enhances the functions of body organs. It is wise to sleep early and get up early. This helps the body to respond positively to the abdominal workouts that you are doing for getting a well-toned stomach. In order to reduce stress you can go in for regular body massages and facials to soothe tired muscles.

Most Americans do not have the time for exercise however this nonchalant attitude towards health will prove costly and dear in the long run. Fitness is something that escapes like time and you cannot hold on to fitness once lost. You need to regular exercise and ensure that you do not skip your sessions at all. Stomach fat leads to obesity and this in turn leads to life threatening diseases that engulf you for life.

Thus, from the above that it is evident that if you are on the lookout for a well-toned stomach you should couple all your abdominal workouts with the right nutrition to get the best results. A strict adherence to both will produce the results that you are looking for and give you the perfect set of abdomens. All you need to do is exercise regularly sleep well and eat right!

Magnesium Supplement Helps Boost Brainpower

New research finds that an increase in brain magnesium improves learning and memory in young and old rats. The study, published in the January 28th issue of the journal Neuron, suggests that increasing magnesium intake may be a valid strategy to enhance and supports speculation that inadequate levels of magnesium impair cognitive function, leading to faster deterioration of memory in aging humans.

Diet can have a significant impact on cognitive capacity. Identification of dietary factors which have a positive influence on synapses, the sites of communication between neurons, might help to enhance learning and memory and prevent their decline with age and disease. Professor Guosong Liu, Director of the Center for Learning and Memory at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, led a study examining whether increased levels of one such dietary supplement, magnesium, boosts brain power.

“Magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of many tissues in the body, including the brain and, in an earlier study, we demonstrated that magnesium promoted synaptic plasticity in cultured brain cells,” explains Dr. Liu. “Therefore it was tempting to take our studies a step further and investigate whether an increase in brain magnesium levels enhanced cognitive function in animals.”

More of Magnesium Supplement Helps Boost Brainpower: Journal

Med diet may protect brain

Newswise — A Mediterranean diet may help people avoid the small areas of brain damage that can lead to problems with thinking and memory, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10 to April 17, 2010.

The study found that people who ate a Mediterranean-like diet were less likely to have brain infarcts, or small areas of dead tissue linked to thinking problems.

The Mediterranean diet includes high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil; low intake of saturated fatty acids, dairy products, meat and poultry; and mild to moderate amounts of alcohol.

For the study, researchers assessed the diets of 712 people in New York and divided them into three groups based on how closely they were following the Mediterranean diet. Then they conducted MRI brain scans of the people an average of six years later. A total of 238 people had at least one area of brain damage.

Those who were most closely following a Mediterranean-like diet were 36 percent less likely to have areas of brain damage than those who were least following the diet. Those moderately following the diet were 21 percent less likely to have brain damage than the lowest group.

Excessive Internet use is linked to depression in UK study

People who spend a lot of time browsing the net are more likely to show depressive symptoms, according to the first large-scale study of its kind in the West by University of Leeds psychologists.

Researchers found striking evidence that some users have developed a compulsive internet habit, whereby they replace real-life social interaction with online chat rooms and social networking sites. The results suggest that this type of addictive surfing can have a serious impact on mental health.

Lead author Dr Catriona Morrison, from the University of Leeds, said: “The internet now plays a huge part in modern life, but its benefits are accompanied by a darker side.

“While many of us use the internet to pay bills, shop and send emails, there is a small subset of the population who find it hard to control how much time they spend online, to the point where it interferes with their daily activities.”

These ‘internet addicts’ spent proportionately more time browsing sexually gratifying websites, online gaming sites and online communities. They also had a higher incidence of moderate to severe depression than non-addicted users.

“Our research indicates that excessive internet use is associated with depression, but what we don’t know is which comes first – are depressed people drawn to the internet or does the internet cause depression?

“What is clear, is that for a small subset of people, excessive use of the internet could be a warning signal for depressive tendencies.”

Incidents such as the spate of suicides among teenagers in the Welsh town of Bridgend in 2008 led many to question the extent to which social networking sites can contribute to depressive thoughts in vulnerable teenagers. In the Leeds study, young people were more likely to be internet addicted than middle-aged users, with the average age of the addicted group standing at 21 years.

“This study reinforces the public speculation that over-engaging in websites that serve to replace normal social function might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction,” added Dr Morrison. “We now need to consider the wider societal implications of this relationship and establish clearly the effects of excessive internet use on mental health.”

This was the first large-scale study of Western young people to consider the relationship between internet addiction and depression. The internet use and depression levels of 1,319 people aged 16-51 were evaluated for the study, and of these, 1.2% were classed as being internet addicted. While small, this figure is larger than the incidence of gambling in the UK, which stands at 0.6%. The research will be published in the journal Psychopathology on 10th February. Source

Why Almost Everyone Is Wrong About Stomach Exercises And Abdominal Muscles

By David Grisaffi,
Firm And Flatten Your Abs

“Stomach exercise” is the most frequently asked about and searched on (via internet) yet misunderstood subject in the entire field of health, fitness and exercise. And it’s no wonder. Regardless of age, experience or gender, everyone wants a flat “stomach” because the abdominal region is the true showcase of your physique. Since the abs are usually the last place to “shape up” and “lean out,” then most people would say that if you’ve got abs, you’ve got it all.

Well, in my way of thinking, this is only partially true. There’s more to a complete physique than “abdominal exercises” and “six pack abs” and most people are completely wrong about “stomach exercises” and “”stomach muscles.” (you’ll find out why in just a moment)…

The Difference Between “6-Pack Abs” And Truly “Fit Abs”

Having a great looking set of abs is very much a matter of low body fat. But make no mistake, just being lean and seeing a “six-pack” doesn’t mean you are strong, fit or conditioned. Real fitness means more than visible muscle development, it means strength, endurance, and stability, and this type of true functional fitness does not come from merely eating the right foods or reducing your body fat.

Nutrition is so important that you could even say that “abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym” and you would not be telling a lie. But this clever maxim is not telling the whole truth either. Great abs come from nutrition AND training, not one or the other. The training develops them. The nutrition uncovers them.

Don Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in America in 1493 looking for a fountain of youth and today in the “stomach exercise” marketplace, it seems that far too many people are looking for a “magic fountain” in order to flatten their waistlines.

Ponce never found the fountain of youth and you will never find a magical solution for flat abs. There are no short cuts. It takes a change in lifestyle to get a change in health, physique and performance. That includes nutrition AND training.

There’s No Such Thing As “Stomach Exercises”

this is your stomach
THIS is your stomach!

Proper choice of exercise is a critical factor in your quest for a firm and flat waistline. But you will never get a great “stomach” from ANY “stomach exercise” because your stomach is a part of your digestive tract, not your skeletal muscular system! So let’s get the terminology straight, shall we?

The area of you body you really want to improve is called your “core region.”Many people refer to it as the “abdominal region.” However, training only with “ab exercise” is NOT the optimal approach.

The abdominals only include the front (anterior) side of your body and if the only type of training you do is abdominal training, you may be unwittingly setting yourself up for lower back problems. If you don’t think this is serious, then consider this statistic:

According to the American Chiropractic Association, more than 31 million Americans are suffering from low back pain at any given time.

So would you like to trade great abs for a bad back?

I didn’t think so. The good news is that you can kill two birds with one stone. You can develop great abdominal muscles, great core muscles and a strong, pain-free back by using exercises that focus not on the “stomach,” (which is not a muscle you train at all), not on the “abdominals,” (which is only part of the muscles you need to target), but on the entire core.

The core is the key to your success.

The core is the entire complex of muscles around your hip and waist region from your lower rib cage to the bottom of your pelvis. If you just focus on “abdominal exercises” alone (or “stomach” exercises, LOL), you will develop what I refer to as a “one dimensional body.” I focus on training the body as a whole, or “multi-dimensional training” to develop a complete person and to develop effective and powerful athletes.

What every program I write has in common is that I do not attempt to “isolate” the abdominals (or train the “stomach muscles!”) It’s all about the core and about integrating your body as a unit so you function better in daily life.

As you do core-focused exercise programs you not only train your muscular system but also the system that drives your muscular system – that is, the nervous system. This may very well be the most important secret for getting better results in your workout programs.

The more efficiently your nervous system works, the better your results will be. Core workouts that improve both muscular strength and conditioning while also improving neural drive will develop stronger neural control of the associated muscles.

This type of training for your core may very well be the most important secret for getting better results in your workout programs.

  • THIS is why my “brand” of core training gets results in women who have had C-sections, or other abdominal surgeries when nothing else worked
  • THIS is why the core exercises I recommend will flatten out a “pooching” belly, which is a result of deep muscular weakness and lack of neuromuscular control (It’s NOT just a body fat problem!)
  • THIS is why my clients have overcome agonizing lower back pain when all else failed
  • THIS is why my workout program have helped men and women recover from embarrassing incontinence
  • THIS is how I have helped hundreds of new moms regain their flat and firm midsections after having their babies
  • THIS is why my clients remain injury free, while so many other training programs are actually the CAUSE of injuries
  • And THIS is why my type of training – PROGRESSIVE CORE TRAINING – develops amazing athletes – top wresters, PGA golfers, and pro boxers with powerful punches and abs of steel.

The purpose of this article was not to give more workout routines (I’ve written an entire book about core training that’s FULL of workouts (Firm And Flatten Your Abs) and there’s plenty of Free sample workouts to be found on this site and lots more to come in upcoming issues of my newsletter. The purpose of this article was to “install” 3 incredibly important lessons into your brain:

  • You can’t train your “stomach” because your stomach is an internal organ of digestion not a skeletal muscle!
  • You can’t totally “isolate” your abdominals because your abdominals do not work in isolation, they work in conjunction with the rest of your body (and “isolation” as with only doing crunches, is not the optimal approach anyway).
  • You get more by training your core! You become a better athlete, you help prevent injuries, you get stronger and you get that coveted 6-pack abs look.

I hope the “morals” of these lessons have already sunk in and will become a part of your own fitness philosophy… and the next time you hear someone talk about “stomach exercises”, you’ll now be able to get a good chuckle out of that.

Coach David Grisaffi,
Tacoma Washington

A Thought On Paleolithic Diets

The art of proper nutrition can be a very complex situation for many. Nutrition bombs your body with nutrients that baths your body in chemicals trying to aid in many different functions. Many of use just look at it as seeking muscle mass, fat loss or a combination of both. Nutrition can and does become complex when you are become overwhelmed and start wiping the mayonnaise off your lunch time sandwich. What I would propose is working with may of my clients and other who I relate to on the internet from my good friend Tom Venuto to up and comer (well he is already there ) John Bernardi. Both are more unbelievable in the fact of nutrition is simple not complex as everyone seems to believe.

When our early ancestors inhabited our planet tens of thousands of years ago they certainly could not go down to the local drugstore picked up a bag of twinkies, gum or aspirins to rid their headache. They survived and am by years of trial and error and burning calories. AH! That is really the truth…they gorged on seasonal foods such as roots, nuts, berries, leaves (many part are editable) I was told as a youth.

In addition to forging for there food they also where very adapted to hunting animals not only for superior food source but also for others means such as clothing, blankets and house roofs. They also were great at fishing for that was a constant food supply. As you know fish add a lot of good oils to your bodies.

Remember – there were no refined sugars, domesticated and refined grains, dairy products or processed oils. They lived off the land. We DO NOT and this is why disease is setting in on the population.. If I was to bet they all had a 6 pack! DO YOU?

Do you think our ancestor worried about trans fats and cholesterol? They were lucky to get 2 square meals a day in them. The Roman legion marched all day eating what we would call “crackers.” Then they would set up and make a great dinner and eat to there hearts content. We……eat all the time…..graze as they say in the live stock business. Well they do it because it works to make you FAT!…..well you get the picture!

HOW about childhood obesity. A complete epidemic!

Why…. And.I can sum it up in 4 words…poor nutrition and lazy kids!

Obesity levels not only with kids but adults have skyrocketed in the US and around the modern world. This is up 30+ % putting people at risk for health problems ranging from heart disease to everyone’s favorite diabetes. Oh and let’s not forget about the big “C” cancer. Humans are the only ones who eat food that is not recognized from its original source. Think about it we eat ice cream, fake fats like margarine and breads that have more high fructose corn syrup in them the grain. Where are you headed?

I have talked about this many times we need to go down the food chain and eat what is natural for out bodies not what we see on TV “saying it is”. We need to get off the couch and move. Out Ancestor’s lives were fashioned by physical work to find food and shelter each and every day. They easily burned twice as many calories and we do today.

Simple – Calories in calories burned = lean body!

Get out and exercise as many people just delay the warning signs of obesity and disease. Hey it’s not my fault…my doctor can fix me up with a pill or two. This is a fact…I was reading national geographic about population who live the longest. Guess what they do each day……They walk to there food, stalk there game, collect fruit in season and jar it for later times. They sometimes must haul there water, gather wood, butcher there meat, milk there sheep or goats. When I read this I was amazed that this still goes on…..It goes on in sardine Italy! The average person never sees a doctor and lives to the rip old age of and men most of the time out do the women.

Earn Your Calories! The more you move the more calories you can consume and use up. In turn getting leaner! That is what all of you want! Be a free ranging person. If the store is three blocks away….why do you drive? Get Active!

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables… they contained important soluble an insoluble fiber which contributes to satiety and keeping the intestinal track cleaned out. 35 to 40 g per date is recommended. Sit down and the figure out how many you are really getting. Back to my last buck it is less than twenty.

Also go out and get yourself some fresh salmon and other sources of fresh seafood.

“Get Nutty” is another word I often say to my clients. They just think of nuts as fat and fat is not good. WRONG! Eat a hand full of almonds every other night as your snack and you will be surprised on how less you will eat the next day.

In conclusion I want to say to all of you have a great weekend and start by one step at a time and soon you will gain confidence to run your life not let it run you!

Last week I sent you information about my good friend Tom Venuto’s “Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle” many of you took hold of the thought and got this best selling book. Some have not? I would take him up on this offer as you get a full interview with me drilling tom for his secrets. This man is a master about fat loss. So get a copy and read it.

You will be glad you did!

David Grisaffi

New data on benefits of exercise, from Switzerland and Denmark

A just published research experiment on inactive men with high blood pressure shows that just 3 months of soccer practise twice a week causes a significant fall in blood pressure, resting pulse rate, and percentage of body fat, and is more effective than the doctor’s usual advice on healthy diet and exercise. Other parallel experiments on both women and men further demonstrates that a regular game of soccer affects numerous cardiovascular risk factors such as maximal oxygen uptake, heart function, elasticity of the vascular system, blood pressure, cholesterol and fat mass far more than e.g. strength training and just as much if not more than running.

Each of the experiments was controlled randomized studies where the soccer groups were compared to other exercise groups and inactive controls. The soccer experiments are part of a large-scale research project on soccer and health carried out at the University of Copenhagen, four Danish University Hospitals, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Schulthess Clinic in Zurich.

Project Leader and Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen Peter Krustrup recaps the results: “Our research shows that soccer is a versatile and intense form of exercise that provides a positive effect on cardiovascular risk factors in a large group of untrained adult men and women,” and continues: “Based on the results, soccer can be recommended as part of the treatment for high blood pressure and as broad-spectred prevention of cardiovascular diseases.”

More of New data on benefits of exercise from Switzerland and Denmark