Say Goodbye To Your Weak Core Once And For All!

When people hear the word “core”, they often think of washboard abs and the unpleasant workouts that come along with them. In reality, the core is much more than just washboard abs and thousands of crunches. The core is one of the most important muscle groups in the entire body, and it plays a critical role in all athletic movements.

Today, Evolve Fight Team members and WarriorFit instructors Irshaad Sayed and Eddie Ng give us the lowdown on the importance of a strong core for martial arts and its real-world benefits.

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The Evolve Fight Team, Asia’s most decorated professional fight team

What is “the core”?

The core consists of the muscles that run the entire length of your torso. The core muscles play a critical role in stabilizing the spine and pelvis while providing a sturdy link in the chain that connects your upper and lower body. When these muscles are weak, they will negatively impact your posture and movement. A strong core will improve your overall balance and stability, and play a major role in injury prevention.

Why is it important for martial arts?

Muay Thai

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Evolve Fight Team member Amir Khan working his Muay Thai kicks

According to Muay Thai World Champion and Evolve Fight Team member, Irshaad Sayed, a strong core provides the foundation of balance for all Muay Thai kicks.

“When you stand on one leg, you rely on your core to keep yourself in position,” Irshaad explains.

A strong core is also beneficial in the Muay Thai clinch position, where you are vulnerable to knees to your mid-section. “You’ll be able to take more hits,” says Irshaad. “And with a stronger core, you’ll be able to break out of the clinch easier.”

 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Armbar

One of the most common traits among all high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors is superhuman core strength. According to Evolve Fight Team member Eddie Ng, a weak core makes you more vulnerable to sweeps and submissions.  A strong core will give you the strength and base to resist and defend against attacks. It will also improve your takedown defense.

“When you have a strong core, you’ll be harder to takedown because your base is stronger,” explains Eddie.

 

What are the real-life benefits of having a strong core?

As working adults, we often spend the majority of our days sitting behind a desk, staring at a computer. This sedentary lifestyle contributes to back problems and postural imbalances. As we get older, these problems are exacerbated through years of bad habits. According to Eddie, developing a strong core is the perfect remedy to almost all of these problems.

“A strong core gives you good posture,” says Eddie. “It also helps relieve lower back pain, a problem that most people face when they are older.”

 

What can you do to build a stronger core?

According to Irshaad and Eddie, the best exercises to strengthen your core don’t actually require hundreds of crunches and sit-ups.

“All you need is a few minutes, a medicine ball, and a positive attitude,” says Irshaad.

Irshaad recommends that you perform a series of core exercises on a daily basis. To stay consistent, make it a habit to throw in some core work after every Muay Thai, BJJ or MMA session. Don’t forget, these exercises are for your own benefit, so don’t slack!

 

Core Strengthening Exercise Routine:

Muay Thai World Champion and Evolve Fight Team member Irshaad Sayed demonstrates a simple core strengthening routine that can be done after training or in the comfort of your own home.

Beginner

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1 minute plank
30 seconds side plank (left and right side)
1 minute leg raises
Rest for 30 seconds
Perform 3 sets

 

Advanced

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20 bridges (10 per side)
1 minute Russian twist
1 minute plank
Rest for 30 seconds
Perform 3 sets

 

When performing these exercises, make sure you keep your posture correct and your core tight at all times. If this is your first time performing a core workout, stick with the beginner workout. If you feel like you’re up for a challenge and already have a well developed core, try the advanced option!

 

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