Why You Really Need to Start Focusing on Your Core (Spoiler: It’s Not for Just for Abs)
Strengthen your core. Engage your core. Stabilize your core.
If like many people, you’re in a workout class and you hear one of those uplifting shouts and you wonder, “what even is a core?” then you’re in the right place.
When most people hear “core” they automatically think “abs.” And yes, while there is some truth to that, it’s not even close to the whole picture that is “your core.”
Today, we’re diving deep into the mysterious world of “the core” and giving you great advice on how you can best focus on workout out your core today!
What Exactly is the Core?
We’re sorry to be the one to tell you that your core does not mean 6-pack abs.
It actually serves a far more important role in stabilizing your entire trunk while the body performs various other movements. The center core muscles, include:
- Pelvic muscles
- Lower back muscles
- Hip muscles
- Abdominal muscles
These muscles are an incredibly important group that prevent injury and allow you to prevent excessive load to transfer on your spine, lower body, or upper body.
Why is Strengthening the Core so Important?
As these core muscles have two main functions: to prevent injury or overload to the spine and limit excessive force to the upper and lower body, it’s a part of the body that needs to be prioritized.
Now, “preventing injury” can be a broad term that might not feel as scary unless you’re injured yourself. But, there are numerous other benefits to strengthening your core that you might not realize.
Let’s look at some of the ways real-world benefits of strengthening your core.
Performing Every Day Activities
Every day activities and tasks are made that much easier with a strong core. These tasks can include:
- Tying your shoe
- Walking up the stairs
- Getting out of bed
- Picking up clothes
While these tasks can seem minimal, when you are in pain or simply can’t perform them on a daily basis, it puts your entire core strength into a different and more important perspective.
For many 9-to-5 jobs, sitting in a desk and staring at a computer screen takes up a majority of the day. With a weak core, back pain, upper torso pain, shoulder pain, and more can start to become a regular occurrence.
It’s vital to strengthen the middle core section in order to protect the bottom, back, and top muscles.
While not all sports involve a full range of motion, it’s important to have a strong core strength in order to prevent any injury that could arise from the overuse of a muscle.
Rugby is an example of a sport that you might initially not think relates back to the core, but without it, players would be incredibly weak. The shoulders, the legs, the back, and the chest all rely on the strength of the core to work effectively.
Building Good Posture
Because the core and the back are essentially two sides of the same coin (or body), they rely on each other to keep the body’s posture as it should be. Most of us don’t have great posture – we slouch our necks, shoulders, and backs. But, having a strong core can, over time, help build good posture which will also work in preventing injuries.
5 Easy Exercises You Can Do for Core Strength
Now that we know how important core strength actually is, let’s take a look at some exercises you can implement in daily life to improve your core!
A forearm plank is a great way to support proper posture and improve balance. Not only does it work your core, but it also works your abs, back, hamstrings, and glutes for a well-rounded exercise you can do anywhere!
If you’re looking for a great way to engage your obliques and spine, Russian Twists are a great exercise. They can also be done anywhere and work the part of the abdominals that people love to show off!
Dead Bug is an amazing workout for connecting both the mind and the core. While this exercise is not necessarily going to make you “feel the burn,” it will work by engaging deep core muscles for an all-encompassing workout.
Side Bend is an exercise you can do to activate the deep core muscles and obliques. It’s also a versatile exercise that will work whether you’re on your arms or back and can pretty much be done anywhere!
Rolling Like a Ball
Rolling Like a Ball – the exercise that doesn’t actually feel like an exercise, but it’s great for activating the core! While you roll, you’re actually controlling your abs AND getting in a little cardio. A win-win all around!
Strengthen Your Core at Fitness World!
If you’re looking to improve your quality of life with a stronger, fitter core, you’ve come to the right place!
At Fitness World, we focus on intricate muscles that help our members live happier and healthier lives for longer. Our classes, personal trainers, and state-of-the-art equipment are designed to help people build sustainable routines for life.
Join today and learn how you can better strengthen your core!