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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

To the Core

Trying to work off the Thanksgiving weight, I headed to the local mega gym yesterday to participate in one of their mid-day group exercise programs.

Not surprisingly I found myself to be the only male in the room. 30 females and me. I would have loved those odds during my single day, but now it was just intimidating. Not because of the 30:1 ratio, but because these women knew what they were doing…. and this was my first time in this class.

We started off pretty slowly and I had a relived feeling that I wouldn’t get shown up by these workout pros.

But 10 minutes into it, the instructor picked up the pace and from then on I was toast. Lagging behind, not looking fluid, not knowing what I was doing. Had I been single, I would have struck out 30 times that day… I looked that bad and awkward.

I chose this workout not because of my yearning to look like an uncoordinated doofus, but because it was designed to strengthen my core and abs, and I figured that would be the best way to tighten the stomach after all that turkey and stuffing.

If you don’t know, the core is basically the chest and stomach areas, running the length of the torso and trunk, and a stable core provides a solid foundation for your everyday activities.

A solid core is essential for optimal performance in most sports. In football, you need a solid core to take the brunt of the physical toll. In baseball/softball, a solid core helps you drive the bat through the strike zone giving you more power. In other sports, a hardened core helps your agility and maneuverability.

Basically the core is the core of your being. Most people like working out their “show off” muscles, arms and chests, but a solid core will not only trim your waist line and make you look good, but will also help you outperform your opponents on the field of play.

If you have a stationary job, like sitting in front of a computer or at a desk all day, a great way to strengthen your core is to replace your chair with a stability ball. You can purchase a Body Ball Workout System from eSportsonline for next to nothing. Stability balls exercise several muscle groups at once and allow you to strengthen your core without having to leave your desk. I cannot think of any other exercises you can do while sitting at your desk without your work suffering.

As for my class, I ended up finishing the workout with my humility in check. While the ladies were doing the final set of push-ups, and I was curled up on the floor in a fetal position, I realized that while my core is essential peak performance, it may be easier to work it out on my own, build it up and then come back next month better prepared to represent an entire sex.

If you have any other workout tips tell us about them in the comments section.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

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