Guest Blogger BodyTraceFit Gets to the Core of the Issue

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When we speak of core training, we may be tempted to confuse it with waist training. In this post, I’ll be discussing the differences between the two. 

Let’s start with waist training. Waist training refers the practice of wearing a waist trainer to achieve an hourglass figure by reducing the circumference of the waist.

Female celebrities have made the waist trainer a popular fad these days, although wearing corsets has been a fashion trend for many years. It now comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It can snap, button, zip, and hook, or fasten with Velcro. They range from very affordable to very expensive. A quick Google search of waist trainer results in thousands of options ready for the all too eager woman seeking a quick fix to solve her “weight” problem!

But does it solve the real problem?

In my opinion, someone decided to market waist trainers as a garment that does all the work for you. What concerns me is that waist training and waist trainers deter you from making healthier choices in the long run.

Don't get me wrong. I’m not knocking anyone who wears waist trainers. I wear them while I work out. They have a purpose, and it's not all cosmetic.

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So before you put on your waist trainer again, consider these tips:

1.  Wear it while you work out.  As I mentioned earlier, I wear my waist trainer while I lift weights because it supports my posture and stabilizes my core.

2.  Measure your waist properly. Make sure to measure your true waist size and resist the urge to buy a smaller size without measuring at all. Wearing a smaller size is detrimental to your health and can damage your internal organs.

3.  Wear it correctly. Make sure that it's not too high or too low. It should sit directly under your breast to contour and smooth out the waist.

4.  Choose the appropriate garment for your body. Waist trainers are not made for one body type. Keep in mind that you might need one made for a long torso or short. Also, consider the hardware. My preference uses Velcro fasteners because they have a little give.

5.  Be more concerned with your health and fitness than outward appearance. Exercising and eating healthy will lead to the type of body that you desire. It's not a quick fix but leads to long-term results.

Unfortunately, waist training has become the answer to pseudo health, fitness, and beauty. Many of you believe that all you need is an illusion of a smaller waist to feel better about yourself.

But how do you feel when you take it off? Are you happy with yourself without it? Do you ever think that maybe you need a new mindset instead of an illusion of a smaller waist? May I suggest that when you take it off, change your mindset and strut your stuff anyway.

Now let’s get to the core of the issue and explore core training as a way to address your fitness goals.

Core training is a method that strengthens your body from the inside out. By concentrating on the muscles that form the core of your body, you’ll reap some benefits including:

•   Increased agility and flexibility

•   Better posture

•   Less susceptible to injury

•   Improved coordination, and efficiency of movements

•   Improved body control and balance

•   Improved sculpting of a toned midsection

Your trunk, the space between your shoulders and hips front and back, comprises your core. It contains an important group of muscles that are used for normal, daily activities like walking, running, and lifting. These muscles are important just about every time you move. Because they work as core stabilizers for the entire body, you have to make sure that you engage in proper core exercises regularly.

Core training is for everyone and should be included in your fitness routine.

Here’s how.

Contract your muscles often by abdominal bracing. The primary technique used during core training is simply the contraction of the abdominal muscles. To correctly brace (or contract, tighten your core), pull your navel back in toward your spine.

This action primarily recruits transverse abdominis (the deepest of the abdominal muscles that wrap around your spine for protection) and erector spinae (the set of muscles that straighten and rotate the back).

Be careful not to hold your breath. Remember to freely breathe while bracing (this will ensure you're contracting the correct muscles and you won't pass out to lack of air flow). 

Engage your core while doing other exercises. For example, when doing a shoulder press perform these steps:

1.  Lift dumbbells or barbells shoulder height.

2.  Tighten your core.

3.  Slightly bend your knees and extend the weight over your head.

4.  Bring the weights back down shoulder height, keeping the core tight as you do.

Tightening your core during all weight lifting exercises ensures that you don’t get injured. In fact, tightening your core during all exercises, including cardio is an excellent way to achieve results.

What we’ve learned in this post is that the core of the issue is your core and not your outward appearance.

Not only does this require you to delve a little deeper physically and mentally, but spiritually too. To become more active and physically fit, you must core of your issue so that you can begin to change in all aspects of your life.

Tracey Brown is a professional trainer and fitness expert who teaches men, women and children how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Tracey offers a variety of health and wellness services to help those who are motivated to make healthy living a lifestyle. Visit bodytrace.fit to learn more.