Increasing your core strength will help you walk further and carry more on a long-distance walk like the Kokoda Track, reports Brent McKean.
Many of you may think of your core as strong, toned abs, but abdominal muscles are only part of the story. Experts refer to the core as the many different muscles that run the entire length of the torso. When these muscles contract, they stabilise the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and create a solid base of support. Just think of the torso as the body's centre of power and you'll understand what we're getting at.
The core muscles make it possible to stand upright and move on two feet. These muscles help control movements, transfer energy, shift body weight and move in any direction. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back. In the outdoors this means a strong core will help you walk further and carry more.
Challenging walks like Kokoda are tough on the back, with lots of twisting and turning; focusing on core strength will certainly minimise any problems.
Upper body and core strength are often under-rated when preparing for any trek, particularly Kokoda. It's important to remember that you will carry anywhere from 5kg-18kg (dependent on whether you utilise a porter on the walk). This load is totally supported by your lower back and abdominal muscles (core).
So with this in mind, try these top core exercises to help you go further on your next bushwalk. Click on the photo to get a full expaination of the exerce.
Words_Brent McKean. Photos_Scott Thomas