January 20th, 2021
Did you know core strength is needed to perform all trunk movements? If you have weak or inflexible core muscles, they can impair arm and leg function, which can put your joints in a susceptible position and drain power from your movement.
5 Reasons Why a Strong Core is Essential
Some people may not realize the importance of having a strong core; here are five instances in which it is essential to have a strong core:
1. Everyday Acts
Bending to put on shoes, bathing, dressing, or any work around the house that involve lifting, twisting, carrying, reaching overhead, or simply standing still all originate in – or pass through – the core.
2. On-the-Job Tasks
Jobs that involve lifting, twisting, and standing all rely on core muscles. Even less obvious tasks like phone calls, typing, and sitting at your desk for hours predispose us to poor posture and overuse injuries when our core is slacking off.
3. Healthy Posture
When core muscles lack strength and endurance, poor posture can increase wear and tear on the spine leading to degeneration and herniated discs. Lower back pain affects four out of five people at some point in their lives, but most cases can be prevented by doing exercises that promote core strength.
There are very few sports and recreational activities that aren’t powered by a strong core. In fact, many sports injuries are a direct result of a weak core. When the core is not able to transfer or absorb the speed and power in full-body athletic movements, stress is then absorbed by joints and structures not made to handle those loads by themselves.
Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction or stand in one spot without losing your balance, decreasing your risk of falling. In fact, studies have found that core strength training can be used as an adjunct or even alternative to traditional balance and/or resistance training in elderly populations.
Building a Balanced Core
A balanced core is needed to engage all muscles effectively. And a balanced core can only be developed when surrounding muscles are conditioned and able to support it.
Free-weight resistance training, such as working with a kettlebell, engages the core more effectively than when working with machines. Working with a stability (or Swiss ball) is another highly effective tool you can use in your in-home workouts.
While it’s important to build a strong core, sometimes people overdevelop their abdominal muscles and neglect their back, shoulder and hip muscles. And this predisposes them to injuries and limits performance.
A true conditioning plan begins with addressing stability and mobility from the front, side and back of the trunk, and the partnership they have with the hips and shoulders.
However, if your goal does happen to be washboard abs alone, it’s essential to trim body fat through diet and aerobic exercise on top of building strong abdominal muscles through frequent core exercise sessions.
Work On Your Goals
If you’d like to talk about improving your core strength and fitness goals, contact us for a complimentary consultation and mini workout.
One of our certified personal trainers will meet with you to create a customized plan to reach your goals. You can work out with your trainer in your home, or have your workouts online. Apply for your first workout today to get started working on your goals.
Updated on January 6, 2023.