No matter what your fitness goals, core training is something you can’t afford to ignore. A strong core is vital to whole body health, it provides us with stability, helps with balance and can assist with injury prevention.
When it comes to developing core strength many believe that crunches are the best option, but a study from Dr Jinger Gottschall at Penn State University proves that this is not necessarily the case. This research proves that BODYCOMBAT is a supreme vehicle for delivering one of the best core workouts around.
How did we find this out?
During the Penn State study Dr Gottschall engaged a group of 20 participants (including some BODYCOMBAT instructors) and each participant did crunches, punches and kicks while being hooked up to an EMG machine. The participants had electrodes placed on the relevant core muscles, in this case the rectus abdominus and the external obliques, and a computer monitored the muscle activation. The more activation the harder the core is working.
Each of the participants then performed all of the moves from a BODYCOMBAT workout (in this case BODYCOMBAT 51) and the activation levels from specific moves were measured against the crunch. In every comparison muscle activation levels were a lot higher in the BODYCOMBAT moves such as jabs, kicks and high knees than they were in crunches.
The most core activation came from double front kicks, which resulted in 2.3 times the activation of a crunch. Fast alternating jabs measured 1.6 times the activation of a crunch. By adding up all of the moves in BODYCOMBAT 51, and taking into account the increased activation you get from each move, it was evident that you’d benefit from the equivalent of 1700 crunches by the time you’ve finished the class.
Rachael Newsham, BODYCOMBAT Programme Director says the research is a great eye-opener. She has always known that during a BODYCOMBAT workout a lot of the power and force comes from the abs, but she had no idea exactly how much. “It proves that the core is working pretty hard! Moves like jabs and front knees provide amazing core activation. This is brilliant news as it means you can get a great core workout and really burn calories at the same time.”
The reason why BODYCOMBAT is such an effective core workout is because of something called reactive core training. Reactive core training is what happens when you exploit your body’s muscle wiring and natural reflexes by doing movements that force your core muscles to automatically respond as they’re meant to. Jabs and kicks are great examples of reactive core training. This type of training unlocks your functional core strength – and that’s the core strength that you need for everyday life.
So, with this in mind, prepare to break tradition and get a great core workout with the proven results of BODYCOMBAT and reactive core training. After all, you can get all the benefits of 1700 crunches without a single crunch.
LES MILLS On Demand is home to a library of workouts that will work for you. Get 24/7 unlimited access to our online workouts.
If you want more health and fitness inspiration simply sign up to Fit Planet and get the freshest insights and advice straight to your inbox.