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Posted by Barry on Sep 30, 2011

Keep Your Core Tight?

swiss ball situps 300x198 Keep Your Core Tight?

You hear it over and over again from both Tony Horton and Shaun T.  Keep your core tight, but what does that really mean?

Let’s face it when you first start out doing the exercises you are trying to learn the moves, trying to do them with intensity, trying not to bonk or burn yourself out, and trying to just survive.  When I first started I was just trying to survive and not puke.  Later as I learned the moves and I started to focus hard on doing the correct form.  As I continued to improve I then moved into doing the moves with good form and intensity. What I have learned lately is how to do the moves with the correct form, high intensity, and to keep my core tight.

I never really knew what that meant as when Tony or Shaun would say it in the video I would tighten up when they said it, but shortly after that I was concentrating on the moves and form and my core would not be tight.  So in my never ending journey to continue to improve and push myself into even better shape, I finally got what they were trying to get us to do.

By keeping your core tight throughout the exercises you get an even more intense workout that improves your core and of course helps to sculpt those abs the way we are all hoping that they will look.  It is really difficult to focus on keeping your core tight and focus on the exercise so it helps if you are familiar with the exercise and also in pretty good shape so that you are not fighting exhaustion.  However when you get to that point you can really “turn it up a notch” by focusing on keeping your core tight and make those muscles just as sore as the rest of you.

Now I have a new goal as I go through the workouts that I have done many  many times and it helps to keep me sharp and makes me focus even harder on pushing my body as hard as I can.

So next time you hear Tony or Shaun tell you to “keep your core tight” don’t just tighten up your abs for a few reps and then let it go again. Try and make sure that you keep it tight through the entire exercise and you will yet again see your body change for the better.

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3 comments
Scooter
Scooter

That helps not one bit...what is "Keeping your core tight"? I was looking for an explanation of HOW TO DO IT, not WHEN. Do you suck in your gut? DO you push it out? What does it mean? I'm new to fitness regimens and I want to get the mos out of the workout, as you said. I don't know what all the jargon means. Please explain!

Barry
Barry

What it means is that you tighten up all your abdominal muscles as you go through the moves. Just that simple. Concentrate on making your abs as tight as you can (flexing them) as you also do the moves in the video. Sounds easy, but first you have to learn the move, then start doing it correctly, and then you have to remember to flex your abs. It is not natural to keep your abs tight all the time and I find myself letting them loose as my focus changes to the next move so the point was to make sure you concentrate hard on keeping the abs tight as you go through each new move. Hope this helps!

Dan V.
Dan V.

So, so true. Your lower back will thank you all day long.