Toning your core takes more than crunches - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Toning your core takes more than crunches

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When you think "core workout" you might be thinking crunches, followed by sit-ups...and more crunches!  But a toned core is much more than a tight mid-section and exercise enthusiasts are turning to group fitness classes to get their core in check.

After baby number two, Contessa Fuselier had a simple fitness goal.  "Just to lose the baby fat and feel better," she said.

But working out alone left her bored and wanting something more. Tessa found her fit at Dynamic Dimensions' group fitness classes in Sulphur.  "They're instructed to push you to the next level and that's what I need personally," said Tessa, "is to see the potential to push me to the next level."

That push from peers keeps exercisers like Tessa coming back each day, and exercise specialist Chase Gary says that can be the clincher for gym newbies.  "There's a lot of accountability when it comes to a class and the atmosphere that you get, being around people that you know and meeting a lot of new people at the gym," said Gary.

One of Tessa's favorite group classes is "Core," a big time post-baby fat blaster.  Cross-training, really fast, but you do see results real quick," said Tessa.

The 30 minute action packed workout strengthens the core from the shoulders to the hips with planks, lifts and pulls.  "Train the entire core using a full body range of movement from larger, more dynamic moves with isolation moves and also a lot of integrated core moves," said Gary.

Tessa says the core exercises don't stop when she gets home.  "You might pick up a laundry basket and go to the left and you're doing little crunches, just standing up!" she said.

The fitness results for Tessa have been enough to bring her back to the gym several times a week for three years and she has no plans to stop.  "It's really just the high of feeling good and the release that you get and it's just really the medicine, that's my medicine!" said Tessa.

Core exercises won't burn the fat off the belly, but they'll help keep the underlying muscles tight while your regular aerobic routine melts off the fat.

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