The Importance of Core Training to everyday life
Are you thinking of hitting the beach this summer and planning on developing some washboard abs? Or are you wanting to improve your everyday movement and mobility? Working out your core is so much more than just developing a six-pack and flaunting it at the beach. Read on to understand why.
What is so important about your core muscles?
Your core muscles are the central link to your upper and lower body and hence are involved in almost everything we do on a daily basis. Weak core muscles can impair your mobility and reduce your arm and leg function as well as power.
Many ab routines focus solely on the abdominal muscles; however, a true core workout extends beyond to our back, side, pelvic, and bottom muscles.
What activities do I need my core for?
Everyday tasks: think about all the activities you have to do on a daily basis- picking something up from the ground, standing in line, turning your head to look behind you, getting dressed or even standing up and sitting down. All these basic movements rely on your core.
On the job tasks: are you involved in work which involves lifting, twisting, sitting or standing? All these tasks involve a basic level of core strength and conditioning.
Sports and Exercise: all athletic activities are powered by a strong core.
Housework and gardening: bending, lifting, twisting, carrying, hammering, reaching etc.
A healthy back: if you've suffered lower back pain then you will understand the importance of a strong core. Strengthening your core muscles is a common prevention strategy, accompanied by physical therapy and other forms of treatment.
Balance and Stability: because your core stabilises your whole body, it is used for many types of exercises (yoga, pilates) and helps to reduce the risk of falling for the elderly.
Good Posture: a strong core helps to strengthen your spine and posture, which in turns helps with breathing and overall health and wellness.
Developing a six-pack: this can be achieved through a strong core and strict diet and aerobic exercise plan. However be careful as you should not overtrain your abs as they may cause a core imbalance if not completed correctly.
Major Core Muscles
Your core is bound by your rib cage and hips, so the major muscles include your abdomen, back, sides, pelvis, buttocks and hips. Some muscles in your upper back are important stabilising muscles.
Want to learn more? Stayed tuned for more information on how to safely and effectively work out your core muscles.
Core exercises: Six workouts to tighten your abs, strengthen your back, and improve balance. (2011). (). Boston: Harvard Health Publications.