Core strength is something that we’ve all heard of but many of us don’t understand the true importance of it. People commonly misconceive the fact that building up one’s core strength means doing a few sit-ups but there’s a lot more to our core strength than just our abdominal muscles. From mopping the floor to hitting a tennis ball, our core plays an integral role in a lot of the things we do, which is why it’s important to understand and strengthen this.
Our core connects our lower and upper bodies, and regardless of whether a motion is starting at the bottom or top of our body, our core will be a part of this. Therefore, if we have a weak core, it can affect how effectively our legs or arms function, reducing the amount of power that’s in our movements. That’s why building up our core muscles through effective training programs (see the BBG workout review) enables us to improve our stability and balance. This then helps to prevent injuries or falls whilst we’re playing sports or carrying out day-to-day activities.
What Do We Use Our Core For?
There are a number of things we use our core for, which you maybe weren’t away of. These include:
Routine Activities: Turning to look at something behind you, picking up a package or bending down to put your shoes on all involve your core – even sitting in a chair or standing does! However, you probably won’t notice that you’re using your core for these regular activities until it becomes painful or difficult.
Job-Based Activities: It’s perhaps no surprise that jobs that involve manually moving things, placing things on shelves or standing about a lot involve your core. But you perhaps weren’t aware that desk jobs also use core strength. Even typing or taking phone calls use the core and can lead to back muscles becoming sore and stiff if your core doesn’t support your posture correctly and regular breaks aren’t taken.
Sports: There are a whole host of athletic activities that require a strong core, including rowing, kayaking, volleyball, baseball, swimming, running, biking, tennis and so on.
Housework and Gardening: All of the movements we carry out when we’re doing the housework will involve our core, including dusting, vacuuming and mopping. Mowing the lawn, pruning bushes and weeding our gardens are also key movements that will require the use of a strong core.
A Strong Core Promotes a Healthy Back
Most Americans will suffer low back pain at some point in their life, and this can be a debilitating thing that prevents them from doing a lot of different activities. However, a lot of back pain can be prevented by building up strong core muscles using a number of different exercises. A lot of people will be told to exercise their core muscles when they suffer from back pain, and this will be used alongside physical therapy and medication.
When you build up this core, you’ll also improve how stable and balanced your body is. This allows you to move freely in any direction, even when you’re on an uneven surface. You’ll even remain balanced when you’re standing on the spot with core exercises reducing the risk of you falling over.
When you have weak core muscles, you may also find that you slouch a lot. But with strengthened core muscles, this will promote a good posture which will also add to how confident you look and it will trim your silhouette. A good posture will also reduce the wear and tear of the spine whilst also allowing you to take deep breaths. If you have good posture, you’ll also gain more benefit from the exercises you do.
Unbalanced, tight or weak core muscles can reduce how effective you are at carrying out most activities. And, whilst you do want to build up a strong core, all of your efforts shouldn’t be focused on just creating some fantastic ab muscles. If you just focus on your abs and don’t also exercise your hip and back muscles, this can undermine your core strength and will further your risk of injuries and reduce how strong you are.
However, there’s nothing wrong with trying to achieve a washboard stomach and to do this you’ll need to trim your body fat through aerobic exercise and your diet whilst also building up your abdominal muscles correctly through core exercises on a frequent basis.
Evie Rahman studied fitness and personal training but didn’t end up actually working in her dream career until several years later after the birth of her daughter which changed everything! Now with a business to help women feel their best Evie shares her knowledge around the web.