It is well known that strength is improved by balance. Personal trainers across the world use balance trainers to strengthen the outer portions of their clients’ bodies; most yoga poses implement balance and give its posers a first-class workout. Balance is an excellent way to promote physical fitness physical fitness, so it should come as no surprise that using a hammock on a regular basis is a great way to improve your core strength.
According to the English Institute Of Sport, one’s core muscles—or the Global Stabilization System, as the muscle group is formally known—can be effectively exercised in several ways. Two significant methods of exercise that EIS listed in their 2008 report include elements of balance—Systematic Strength Training and Motor Control Stability. Both of these methods of exercise are stimulated differently; however, both are done when using a hammock.
Systematic Strength Training
Systematic Strength Training is what most people think of when they think about “working out”—it is imploring repeated resistance to a muscle group, thus breaking that muscle group down so that it can be built back up even bigger and stronger than before. Although many would immediately think of lifting weights when considering this kind of exercise, it does not necessarily have to involve such equipment—it can be done through leveraging your own weight to create repeated resistance. This is where using a hammock comes in—it can serve as a means to create muscle resistance, thus exerting your core muscles.
The way to utilize this kind of muscle resistance in a hammock is through rocking. To do so, lay in your hammock as is recommended, with your body along the length of the hammock, slightly angled away from the hammock’s center line. Once you are in the hammock and laying like so, begin to gently sway your body from side to side until you develop a steady rock. If you continue this for long enough, your hammock will be in full swing, and the wider you’re swinging in, the greater resistance you will be placing on your core to propel yourself from side to side. Think of the kind of workout you get out of bicycle crunches, except in the comfort of your own hammock.
Motor Control Stability
Unlike Systematic Strength Training, Motor Control Stability is activated basically every time you use a hammock, whether or not rocking or other motions are involved. Motor Control Stability occurs whenever muscles are being used in general—it is the central nervous system’s controlling of these muscles. There does not necessarily have to be any kind of resistance in this sort of exercise, which makes a hammock an ideal place for this kind of muscle activity to be carried out.
Because of the hammock’s fluid nature, Motor Control Stability takes place over multiple points on your body when you lay in a hammock. Because hammocks are dependent on gravity, it is never perfectly still, which shifts the pressure points to various places all over your body as you unwind from a long day. Put simply, the hammock’s fluid nature and dependence on gravity allows for you to simply lay in it and enhance your Motor Control Stability.
By now, it should be obvious that a hammock is an excellent tool for developing your core. So find two trees and get to building those muscles!