Who doesn’t love a good core workout?
Core strength is perhaps personal trainers’ favorite topic and they love to educate their clients on its importance.
Core exercises are a critical aspect of every workout regimen.
They not only strengthen your abs and allow you to rock a beach-worthy body but they also strengthen the hip, pelvis as well as the lower back areas. Most trainers particularly focus on the core because it is the center of the body and helps you employ all parts of your body optimally.
Your core is also home for several internal organs, therefore, strengthening it is crucial for protecting what’s inside too and not just the aesthetics.
Here’s why you should consider including more core exercises into your routine:
It takes more than a few crunches to strengthen your core. Core strength has more to do with core stability than the outer appearance or more precisely, a 6-pack. It is critical that you work on building core stability before you work towards gaining core strength and building muscle around thus area.
The reason is that you have to work the muscles deep within your core to work first. Once you get them working, everything else will fall into place, which includes strengthening and building ab muscles. Building core stability will help you increase your overall fitness level and also reduce your risk of injury.
Most movements originate from the center; therefore, building a strong and stable core will help you perform movements smoothly and without any pain.
You don’t need any specialized equipment or a gym membership to build core strength…
Any exercise or movement that involves your back muscles and abdominal muscles in a coordinated manner can be counted as a core exercise. Exercises that we may presume as arm or leg exercises such as bicep curls, or movements with weights which require maintaining a stable core train, strengthen and stabilize your core muscles as well.
The plank and the bridge are classic core exercises that work on your body’s stability as well as strength. Make sure you tighten your ab muscles while performing any ab workout and focus on form and technique more than number of reps or the session length.
No more back pain
Perhaps one of the most common signs of a weak core is back pain. Usually when the abdominal muscles are weak, the strength of the back muscles outweigh the strength of the ab muscles, thus causing pain. To counteract this imbalance, developing more core strength may help.
Being involved in a sedentary job will only exacerbate the effect of weak ab muscles. It is important that you are mindful about your posture and engage your core at all times.
Sitting for prolonged periods with an arched back and tilted pelvis instead of sitting tall and confident can not only weaken your core, but cause back pain too. If possible, using a stability ball rather than a chair may help you remember to engage your core because of the lack of stability offered by the ball.
A strong core helps boost confidence, especially in the way you carry yourself. Maintaining a tall posture portrays strength, confidence and control in contrast to a curved or slouched posture which often shows lack of confidence and weakness.
Everyday activities become easier
Standing, sitting still, carrying a bag or a baby, moving heavy furniture and bending to tie your shoe laces becomes much easier when you have a stronger core.
Many individuals experience stiffness and pain in their backs which make these mundane tasks more challenging. The simplest of acts require core strength and stability, therefore, the best way to improve your lifestyle would be to train your core more.
Look great naked
Strengthening your core leads to one obvious benefit: really tight abs. However, a strong trunk does not only make you look great, but it helps you feel great too.
After developing core stability, you can work on more superficial trunk exercises to build strength and visually tighten your abs. focus on working your body inside-out. Just because you have a pair of big strong arms or legs, doesn’t always mean you have a strong or stable core too.
“A PILOT STUDY OF CORE STABILITY AND ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE: IS THERE A RELATIONSHIP?” Chris Sharrock, DPT, CSCS, Jarrod Cropper, DPT, Joel Mostad, DPT, Matt Johnson, DPT, and Terry Malone, PT, EdD, ATC, FAPTA
Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Athletic Training Department, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana. “Relationship between core stability, functional movement, and performance.” Okada T, Huxel KC, Nesser TW.
1Departmento fRehabilitation MEdicine, University of Colorado, Denver, USA. “Core strengthening.” Akuthota V, Nadler SF.