Guest Blogger: Scott Darnell – Core Control

Long​ ​before​ ​moving​ ​to​ ​sunnier​ ​climes​ ​here​ ​on​ ​the​ ​heat-drenched​ ​coast​ ​of​ ​eastern​ ​Spain (insert​ ​rayban​ ​cool​ ​dude​ ​whatsapp​ ​emoji),​ ​I​ ​used​ ​to clamber​ ​into​ ​my​ ​Hyundai​ ​i10​ ​-​ ​at​ ​the​ ​time with​ ​16kg​ ​more​ ​timber​ ​on​ ​the​ ​trunk​ ​-​ ​​ ​and​ ​trundle​ ​along​ ​the​ ​roads,​ ​cruising​ ​over​ ​speed bumps​ ​with​ ​the​ ​rolls​ ​of​ ​flabby​ ​flesh​ ​ricocheting​ ​up​ ​the​ ​midsection​ ​and​ ​almost​ ​causing​ ​several blacks​ ​eyes…​ ​The​ ​excess​ ​weight​ ​around the​ ​middle​ ​part​ ​of​ ​my​ ​body​ ​was​ ​an​ ​issue​ ​and​ ​change​ ​was​ ​needed!

Fast-forward​ ​three​ ​years​ ​and​ ​with​ ​a​ ​shaved​ ​off​ ​midsection​ ​unrecognisable​ ​like​ ​a downtown​ ​bald​ ​Mexican​ ​chihuahua,​ ​I​ ​look​ ​down​ ​and​ ​not​ ​only​ ​am​ ​I​ ​grateful​ ​to​ ​finally​ ​see​ ​the tips​ ​of​ ​my​ ​toes​ ​(amongst​ ​other​ ​anatomical​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​body…),​ ​but​ ​I​ ​reflect​ ​on​ ​my journey​ ​to​ ​the​ ​clean,​ ​lean​ ​and​ ​fitter​ ​me.​ ​

Les​ ​Mills Bodycombat​ ​(you guessed it!) has​ ​been​ ​the​ ​jab-cross-hook​ ​flab​ ​attack​ ​kick-butt​ ​way​ ​to​ ​pummel​ ​the​ ​pounds out​ ​of​ ​Spanish​ ​customs​ ​and​ ​excise​ ​to​ ​the​ ​back​ ​and​ ​beyond​ ​of​ ​Timbuktu​ ​(apologies, unwanted​ ​fat​ ​has​ ​to​ ​land​ ​somewhere,​ ​right?).​ ​Soul-searching​ ​for​ ​my​ ​inner​ ​warrior,​ ​fighting through​ ​intense​ ​Bodycombat​ ​workouts​ ​and​ ​engaging​ ​in​ ​the​ ​upbeat​ ​choreographies​ ​has enabled​ ​the​ ​ricochet​ ​effect​ ​of​ ​activating​ ​all​ ​muscle​ ​groups​ in my​ ​Core​ ​HQ,​ ​firing​ ​up​ ​through the​ ​midsection​ ​to​ ​build​ ​strength,​ ​stamina​ ​and​ ​coordination.​ ​Realising​ ​that​ ​core​ ​control through​ ​posture,​ ​drawing​ ​in​ ​my​ ​abs​ ​through​ ​slow​ ​and​ ​subtle​ ​contractions​ ​whilst​ ​executing key​ ​martial​ ​arts​ ​movements​ ​practised​ ​in​ ​Bodycombat​ ​has​ ​truly​ ​ricocheted​ ​from​ ​my​ ​legs​ ​to my​ ​arms.​ ​

That​ ​moment​ ​people​ ​look​ ​at​ ​you​ ​and​ ​go​ ​“wow”​ ​you’ve​ ​changed,​ ​“wow”​ ​look​ ​at​ ​you! And​ ​you​ ​stare​ ​at​ ​them​ ​(insert​ ​pondering​ ​whatsapp​ ​emoji…)​ ​like​ ​what​ ​are​ ​you​ ​seeing​ ​that​ ​I’m not?​ ​The​ ​answer​ ​comes​ ​when​ ​packing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​punch,​ ​swerving​ ​your​ ​body,​ ​hips,​ ​heels​ ​and thigh,​ ​your​ ​elbow​ ​at​ ​90​ ​degrees,​ ​push-pulling​ ​the​ ​knee​ ​and​ ​slicing​ ​the​ ​opponent​ ​with​ ​the blade​ ​of​ ​your​ ​foot​ ​in​ ​a​ ​Taekwondo​ ​side​ ​kick.​ ​Boom!​ ​That’s​ ​when​ ​you​ ​discover​ ​your​ ​core muscles​ ​in​ ​activation​ ​mode:​ ​cruise​ ​control,​ ​core​ ​control. When​ ​you​ ​finally​ ​become​ ​acquainted​ ​with​ ​Mr​ ​rectus​ ​abdominus,​ ​Mrs​ ​latissimus​ ​dorsi,​ ​their internal​ ​and​ ​external​ ​oblique​ ​infants,​ ​the​ ​father-in-law​ ​of​ ​erector​ ​spinae,​ ​aunt​ ​and​ ​uncle transverse​ ​abdominis,​ ​and​ ​neighbours​ ​iliocostalis​ ​and​ ​multifidus​ ​(insert​ ​crying​ ​emoji​ ​and​ ​try saying​ ​all​ ​those​ ​after​ ​a​ ​jug​ ​of​ ​sangría,​ ​just​ ​leave​ ​the​ ​erector​ ​alone!),​ ​you​ ​realise​ ​that​ ​the all-time​ ​crunch​ ​and​ ​sit-ups​ ​just​ ​do​ ​not​ ​cut​ ​the​ ​proverbial​ ​mustard.​ ​

From​ ​my​ ​experience​ ​and observations​ ​as​ ​a​ ​Les​ ​Mills​ ​instructor​ ​for​ ​Bodycombat,​ ​variety​ ​is​ ​the​ ​key;​ ​variety​ ​is​ ​the​ ​spice of​ ​life. This,​ ​my​ ​friends,​ ​is​ ​why​ ​I​ ​urge​ ​you​ ​to​ ​try​ ​any​ ​group​ ​fitness​ ​activity​ ​programme​ ​to​ ​give​ ​you​ ​the chance​ ​to​ ​experience​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​movements​ ​that​ ​allow​ ​you​ ​to​ ​fire​ ​up​ ​power,​ ​strength,​ ​agility and​ ​coordination​ ​through​ ​your​ ​midsection.​ ​It’s​ ​my​ ​belief​ ​that​ ​alternating​ ​the​ ​core​ ​training​ ​and exercises​ ​may​ ​also​ ​reduce​ ​your​ ​risk​ ​of​ ​injury:​ ​day-to-day​ ​living​ ​requires​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​and​ ​flexible core.​ ​Our​ ​office​ ​jobs,​ ​driving​ ​time,​ ​chilling​ ​out​ ​on​ ​the​ ​sofa​ ​humming​ ​“Winter​ ​is​ ​Coming”​ ​as​ ​we binge​ ​on​ ​episodes​ ​of​ ​Games​ ​of​ ​Thrones…​ ​all​ ​the​ ​while,​ ​we​ ​weaken​ ​our​ ​midsection​ ​​ ​(insert awkward​ ​smile​ ​emoji​ ​-​ ​reverse​ ​psychology…).​ ​A​ ​strong​ ​body,​ ​creates​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​mind:​ ​fuel​ ​for any​ ​long,​ ​arduous​ ​winter​ ​period!​ ​Your​ ​torso​ ​is​ ​your​ ​control​ ​centre​ ​of​ ​power:​ ​power​ ​in​ ​the mind​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​matter​ ​(physically​ ​speaking,​ ​insert​ ​flamenco-dancing​ ​chica​ ​emoji).​

​How many​ ​times​ ​a​ ​day​ ​are​ ​we​ ​demanding​ ​our​ ​bodies​ ​to​ ​bend,​ ​turn,​ ​twist,​ ​crouch​ ​down,​ ​lift​ ​up, reach​ ​over,​ ​carry,​ ​push,​ ​pull,​ ​laugh,​ ​cry…​ ​A​ ​rock​ ​hard​ ​core​ ​equips​ ​you​ ​with​ ​the​ ​strength​ ​and power​ ​to​ ​execute​ ​these​ ​tasks.​ ​And​ ​when​ ​you​ ​come​ ​to​ ​train,​ ​you’ll​ ​notice​ ​the​ ​difference​ ​be​ ​it running,​ ​walking,​ ​kicking,​ ​punching,​ ​or​ ​simply​ ​picking​ ​up​ ​your​ ​ever-growing​ ​child​ ​when​ ​you get​ ​home​ ​(insert​ ​hand-slapping​ ​forehead​ ​emoji​ ​-​ ​quit​ ​feeding​ ​them​ ​chicken​ ​nuggets​ ​and fries!).​ ​Strengthen​ ​your​ ​midsection​ ​muscles​ ​and​ ​you​ ​become​ ​the​ ​engineer​ ​to​ ​bridge​ ​the​ ​gap between​ ​twisting,​ ​turning,​ ​power​ ​punching,​ ​breathing​ ​and​ ​maintaining​ ​a​ ​sturdy​ ​upright posture​ ​with​ ​your​ ​body’s​ ​mast​ ​pole:​ ​the​ ​spine.

So,​ ​my​ ​advice​ ​is​ ​the​ ​following:

● ​ ​Coordinate​ ​the​ ​midsection​ ​magic​ ​to​ ​allow​ ​those​ ​family​ ​of​ ​muscles​ ​to​ ​work​ ​in​ ​tandem (what​ ​does​ ​this​ ​require?​ ​Mental​ ​strength:​ ​tell​ ​yourself,​ ​yes​ ​I​ ​can​ ​work​ ​it,​ ​yes​ ​I​ ​can control​ ​those​ ​movements.​ ​I​ ​can,​ ​I​ ​will).

● Workout​ ​at​ ​the​ ​gym​ ​or​ ​at​ ​home​ ​applying​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​core​ ​activation​ ​exercises:​ ​if​ ​you want​ ​those​ ​bad​ ​boy​ ​muscles​ ​marching,​ ​find​ ​the​ ​beats,​ ​savour​ ​the​ ​rhythm​ ​and​ ​them fire​ ​up!

● Minimise​ ​injury​ ​when​ ​carrying​ ​out​ ​everyday​ ​chores​ ​and​ ​tasks​ ​by​ ​focusing​ ​on​ ​building core​ ​strength.

● Ditch​ ​the​ ​Netflix​ ​subscription​ ​and​ ​check​ ​out​ ​a​ ​Les​ ​Mills​ ​programme​ ​(preferably Bodycombat,​ ​of​ ​course,​ ​but​ ​combined​ ​with​ ​Les​ ​Mills​ ​Bodybalance​ ​and​ ​Bodypump you’ll​ ​be​ ​core​ ​controlled​ ​in​ ​no​ ​time!).

● Note​ ​how​ ​not​ ​once​ ​have​ ​I​ ​mentioned​ ​having​ ​a​ ​“six-pack”…​ ​who​ ​cares​ ​about​ ​the​ ​rips. Be​ ​you,​ ​believe​ ​in​ ​yourself​ ​and​ ​not​ ​what​ ​media​ ​marketing​ ​and​ ​pumped-up​ ​gym​ ​buffs visually​ ​lead​ ​you​ ​to​ ​think.​ ​Core​ ​control​ ​starts​ ​in​ ​the​ ​mind;​ ​quality,​ ​not​ ​quantity.

● Insert​ ​bicep-flexing​ ​emoji

Or get in touch with Rebecca who will build a programme specifically for you!

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