If you could have just one type of physical strength, what would it be? Would you choose to be strong and muscular throughout the legs? What about the arms and chest? These are very common fitness goals – and understandably so. Everybody likes the idea of looking buff and strong in these parts of the body.
But if you really had to pick one area of the body to be strong, the most intelligent choice would be the core. There are all kinds of reasons for this, but here are five of the most important:
- A stronger core makes you less susceptible to injury, both in the gym and in daily life
- It’s one of the best-known solutions to chronic back pain
- It gives you a noticeably better appearance and posture
- It protects your vital organs and improves overall health
- It makes other exercises easier and more productive
Core strength really is a vital aspect of any fitness plan; so what are the best ways to develop it? You can do endless crunches, use machines to isolate the core, and hope for a good result. But there are better, faster ways to develop functional core strength. For examples. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is great for developing the core – but it’s not for everyone. There are many things you can do in a gym setting, or in your own home, to build great core strength and changes your fitness level from the inside out.
The power wheel (also known as the ab roller) is one of the best tools for developing a stronger core. You’ve probably seen people using them at your local gym. You may even have tried it for yourself. The tool itself is very simple: It’s basically a small wheel with a rod on either side for your grips.
There are many exercises you can do with this piece of equipment, but the knee roll-out is a good place to start, because it’s simple. You start on the floor, kneeling. You grip the handles of the power wheel with arms stretched out. You activate your core and roll forward, slowly, until your stomach is hovering just over the floor. Your arms are extended at this point. Then, you slowly roll back to your knees.
There are many variations of this exercise, and many advanced power wheel exercises for those who are ready to make their core even stronger. However, it’s important to use the power wheel consciously and carefully – that’s why it’s a good idea to learn some basics with an experienced trainer. You’ll get more out of the power wheel, and reduce your chances of getting hurt.
Why does the power wheel work so well? First off, it engages and strengthens not only the core, but also the lower back muscles. You’ll also notice that you don’t feel perfectly stable when you do power wheel exercises – tiny muscles in your arms, legs and core will be working to maintain balance and stability. This a good thing. It trains your muscles to work together. It makes your whole body more functionally fit, starting with that vital core strength.
For good results with this piece of equipment, it’s important to proceed carefully and develop good technique with various movements and exercises. If the power wheel is used incorrectly, it can do more harm than good. But with the guidance of an experienced trainer in functional fitness, you can be off and running with excellent technique in no time. Before long, you’ll be feeling the incredible benefits of a stronger core.