It's not surprising that actress Margot Robbie initially turned to leg exercises in order to pull off those amazing triple axels for her role as figure skater Tonya Harding in "I, Tonya."
After all, one would think that you'd need super leg power in order to execute all of those hardcore jumps and spins.
But it wasn't until Robbie spoke with the real-life Tonya Harding when she finally started to see some serious results.
"I was like, ‘I've been working on my legs. I’m trying to get stronger in my legs,'" Robbie recalled of her meeting with Harding in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "She’s like, ‘Forget that, worry about your core strength.’ I was like, ‘OK, I'll do more sit ups.'"
In fact, according to Robbie, she did at least 100 sit-ups a day. Her hard work paid off: Robbie was recently nominated for an Oscar for her role as the notorious Olympic skater.
However, core strength isn't just necessary for actresses and figure skaters -- it's something we should all be working on. Here's why you should be focusing on core strength in your next workout session.
What is Your Core?
Your core is way more than your abs. It's a complex series of muscles around your trunk and pelvis, which helps train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work together to facilitate movement. In fact, every type of movement you can think of, from functional to fitness, is dependent on the core. Which means your core is, literally a lot deeper than you think.
The Benefits of a Strong Core
Tight and toned abs might look amazing, but a strong core has so many more benefits than an aesthetically pleasing Instagram pic.
First, you'll reduce your risk of injury. Since most of our movements come from the core, the stronger it is, the more likely your movements -- from the arms down to the legs -- will also be strong and pain-free.
Also, because your core supports your spine, your balance, not to mention your posture, will improve. Which means your ability to tackle daily activities like walking across a slippery surface, or getting through your yoga class, will get a lot easier.
Not to mention a strong core makes you better at pretty much every sport, like running, skiing, and, of course, figure skating.
How Can You Test Your Core Strength?
Curious how strong your core really is? Then do this simple test: Stand on one foot and then bring the other foot behind you and hold it with your hand. Are you wobbling a lot or a little? Is this near impossible for you to do without falling? Then your core might need some work. If you're stable, then you've got a Robbie-like strong core.
The Best Exercise for Core Strength
Planks, planks, and more planks. The plank is one of the best exercises for developing core strength because it maintains the stability of the core muscles. Since it's a full-body movement -- activating the body from the shoulders down to the feet -- it's way more effective than a traditional crunch.
Although more than 100 sit-ups a day, like Robbie did, might work, too.
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