Health & Wellness

Boomer Edition | 10th Annual | 2014

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Page 87 of 147

I ncreasing your core value You need more than strong abs to keep your body at its best There comes a time when flaunting six-pack abs loses priority, but that's no excuse to let your stomach muscles go. In fact, it's more important than ever, as we age, to build a strong core. "The core really comprises the entire torso—including all of the muscles from the pelvis up to the base of the neck," says Shaun Cook, a trainer at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club. "And the main function of the core muscles is to support and stabilize the spine and pelvis during dynamic movement." In other words, without a strong core, you'll find yourself having trouble with everyday activities—like lifting a suitcase into an airplane's overhead bin, running to catch a bus, or hauling grocery bags out of a trunk. "If the core is weak—even if you have strong legs and arms—your body won't be able to transfer energy properly to perform those movements," Cook says. A stronger base results in a more fit and functional body. But working the core means taking your gym routine beyond basic abdominal crunches. "The human body needs to work as a unit, so you don't want to just focus on isolated movements," Cook says. Instead, try these moves designed to work the core as one piece. 86 Shaun Cook, NASM certified personal trainer and performance enhancement specialist

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