Don’t leave out your core!

For optimal heath, it’s important to include core training in your exercise regimen. It’s not just about toning the abdominal muscles, but also strengthening your back, your glutes, and the entire area that connects to your spinal cord. 800-479-6710

First of all, this muscle group acts as a natural corset, making you look thinner with a tighter, flatter stomach. More importantly, these muscles also help your body support your spine. Strong erector spinae muscles take the burden of supporting your body weight off your bones, which helps prevent back injuries. These core muscles are connected to your legs and influence the way you stand, squat, and sit.

Here are a few easy ways to add more core training to your workout routine:

• Add instability to your basic crunch. Crunches have their place in strengthening your abdominal muscles, but there is much more to core strength than just the abs. What’s important about a crunch is doing it correctly and mindfully— draw your belly button toward your spine, move your ribs toward your hips, and lift your shoulders up to you chest with a small movement.  Doing crunches on an exercise ball or foam roller forces your body to balance and works more of your entire core muscle group. Our Ab Blast class focuses specifically on how to maximize the effectiveness of these types of exercises.

• Add resistance training exercises. Isometric exercises where you hold a position, like in Pilates and Yoga, further improve this muscles group as your body must work to balance and stabilize the core. Planks are a great exercise for this. Check out our Yoga class schedule here.

Try Suspension Training  At MEI Fitness, we just installed a TRX system designed to leverage gravity and your body weight with exercises to improve balance, endurance and core stability. There are hundreds of exercises you can do with this equipment for all fitness levels. Learn more at