core training

Hey Healthy Panthers!

Have you ever suffered from lower back pain? Ever wish your abdominal muscles were stronger and more defined?

If you answered “yes”, then your solution is core strength training!

What areas does it work?

Core strength training focuses on muscles in your abs, your hips, your back, and your chest.

What are the benefits?



Strengthening your core will improve your balance:

  • Core workouts train muscles in hips, abs and back to function together. It builds coordination between these muscles.
  • It’s essential for athletes to have strong cores to allow them to cope with the demands their sports put on their bodies. In order for a football player to juke his opponent, his core must be tight so he can change directions very quickly.
  • With core muscles working simultaneously, your body will have an easier time balancing and stabilizing itself.

Making your core stronger will “even things out”:

  • Most physical activities overwork certain muscle groups and underwork others. This leads to muscular imbalances which lead to potential injuries. (Ever seen your dad throw his back out in a game of backyard football?)
  • According to the American Council on Exercise, most people have a strength imbalance between their lower back and their abdomen.
  • Core strength exercises can help reduce muscular imbalances by building even strength throughout your core. For patients with Scoliosis (curvature of the spine), core training can aid in correcting the curving spine by stabilizing lower back muscles.

How can I exercise my core?

With the Julian Argyros Fitness Center located conveniently on campus, Panthers have easy access to equipment for core strengthening. However, basic core workouts simply require a flat surface to perform the exercise (grass, carpet, etc.), a timer, and the right attitude!

Here’s a workout that’s approximately 5 minutes in duration and easy to do in your dorm room. It may be challenging at first but don’t get discouraged if the exercise time is too long or the rest time is too short. Start small and modify the routine to fit your fitness level!

  • 2 sets of 1 minute plank (rest 15 seconds between each set)
Planking form

Planking form

  • 2 sets of 10 supermans-each leg (hold flying position for 2 seconds then alternate arm and leg) (rest 15 seconds between each set)
Superman form

Superman form

  • 2 sets of 30 seconds side planks (alternate each side) (rest 15 seconds between each set)
Side plank form

Side plank form

Other fun activities

Core training is not always done through static workouts in the gym or on your dorm room floor.

Being at Chapman, the beach is only a 20 minute drive from campus. This makes it easy for us to enjoy SUP boarding around Balboa Island or surfing waves at the pier down in HB. Any board activity that requires you to balance your body is a perfect exercise for your core muscles.

SUP boarding

SUP boarding

So don’t feel like you always need to perform the same boring workout in order to strengthen your core. Go spend some time in the Fitness Center, on your dorm floor, or at the beach with your friends!


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