Product DescriptionThe perennially popular yoga, ballet and pilates all owe their success to what has become the latest buzzword in fitness: Core Strength. Core strength refers to the torso muscles – from the glutes and abs to the back and neck – those muscles that literally keep you standing tall, strong and erect. Athletes and dancers have always understood the importance of core strength, and as our population ages everyone is beginning to herald workouts that concentrate on these . . . More >>

The Core Strength Workout: Get Flat Abs and a Healthy Back

  1. This book featuring wonderful core strengthening movements! A great companion book is Mary El-Baz’s “Transform Your Core 6-Week Workbook. ”
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Sonny says:

    Three levels of exercise are taught. The first level seemed a bit easy but it was a very good (and necessary) prep for second level.

    The third level can be achived with a little time and effort. The program is not complicated and can be easily followed working out a couple of times a week.

    Athletes as well as the deconditioned can use this well organized text and conditioning is focused on but not limited to “the core”.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. This book is a joy to use. Ms. Karter explains the concepts behind the workouts, then presents the exercises in a graded series of three levels. The pictures are clear and easy to follow. (There are a couple of places where the pictures are a little different than the written explanations; in that case I do what is shown in the pictures. ) Each level has its own color code on the outer edge of the page, so you can open the book quickly to the appropriate level.

    In the first chapter Ms. Karter explains the reasons for developing the “core muscles,” that is, all the muscles extending from the the base of the neck, down the back and front of the trunk, to the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your spine and interior organs, improve your posture, and help you with your balance. Moreover, working on all these muscles together makes your body work more efficiently, which gives you more stamina.

    In the next chapter she explains the principles of proper alignment when doing the exercises. She includes a few exercises just for getting lined up correctly. This is very important, as it greatly affects the outcome of doing this work. I found her explanations of these key concepts to be thorough and clear.

    The final three chapters contain the exercises, in graded levels. You do each level for at least six weeks before moving on. I found six weeks to be adequate for levels one and two (I’m about to move into level three at this time), however, I have a yoga background. Some people may need more time. I could easily see spending three or more months per level, and that would be fine. There’s no hurry in learning how to move your body in this way!

    Most of the exercises are for strengthening the back and abdominal muscles. However, there are also some for stretching the hamstrings, and developing balance, arm strength, and back flexibility. Combining strength with flexibility exercises makes for a very satisfying workout.

    After just a few weeks of the first level I did find that I had more energy, and my posture was much taller without me constantly having to straighten myself up. Better yet, whereas I used to use my lower back for various tasks such as vacuuming, now I work more from my inner abdominals, which has saved my back a lot of stress. The added benefit is that my abdominals are getting a workout even when I’m off the exercise mat. Finally, developing my inner abdominal muscles has greatly improved my breathing; I’m taking deeper breaths from the belly on a more regular basis, rather than the shallow breathing which was my former habit.

    I’ve found that going back to yoga after working with this book has really enhanced my yoga practice as well. I had always been told in yoga classes to “work from my core,” but as my core was undeveloped, I couldn’t really feel what the instructors were talking about. Now I know, and I really can work from my core.

    This is a great book for improving your overall health, stamina, and appearance.
    Rating: 5 / 5