Watch Equinox instructor Aida Palau develop summer’s most coveted muscles.
Our cultural fixation on abs is fairly easily explained: They’re the calling card of a dedicated and disciplined workout regimen, the raison d’etre of the two-piece bathing suit, the carrot on the end of a stick of, well, carrots. And since they’re in hiding for so much of the calendar year, our obsession peaks in their peak season, the summer. In the pecking order of muscle groups, the abs rank highly, and they always will.
But as stylish as a flat midsection may be, it’s also the cornerstone of a fit, strong body. “The core is the link between your upper and lower body, and that includes the back, side, pelvic and butt muscles,” says group fitness instructor Aida Palau, whose core-strengthening routine we glimpse in the video above.
“It’s the origin of all of your functional movements, and a weak or inflexible core will limit not only the function of your limbs, but the efficiency and power of all of these movements.”
Palau develops her core strength by thinking multi-dimensionally: The routine she demonstrates in the video draws from multiple disciplines including Pilates, gymnastics, and bodyART.
“These disciplines can’t be done competently or efficiently without a strong core, and in fact, these disciplines emphasize core performance.”
The beauty of a strong, toned core is more than skin deep. You’ll move more efficiently, avoid injury, and even experience increased confidence, says Palau.
“Beyond looking good, a strong core translates to a better quality of life—emotionally, psychologically, and physically.”