The term “strong core” may simply bring to mind a person with six-pack abs, but it is much more serious than that. The core is not just the abdominal muscles but many muscle groups around the trunk and hips. The lower back, the abdominal muscles, and the hip flexors are the three main groups, but these break down into muscles like the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, internal obliques, external obliques, intercostals, erector spinae, iliacus, and psoas.
Function of the Core
The importance of this area of your body can really not be overstated. This is the intersection between your lower extremities and your trunk, so the distribution of your weight as you walk, stand, and sit is determined by the balance, or lack of balance, in your core. All of your most vital internal organs are supported by your core. Your spine, which transmits all neural activity in your body, is protected by your core. If you were to ignore all other exercise other than core strength and a daily walk, you could likely live a healthy and pain free life.
Benefits of a Strong Core
Some quick benefits you experience by maintaining a strong core are:
- Elimination of lower back pain due to protection of the spine
- Ability to sit for longer periods without pain and damage
- Increased sports performance
- Having a safe base to begin more advanced workouts, like weightlifting
- Achieving a more respectable looking posture
- Looking better and healthier with a flatter stomach
How to Maintain a Strong Core
In modern life, trying to lose weight in Raleigh or just improve our wellness, we often spend a large portion of our day sitting at a desk. Students may sit and listen to teachers, white collar workers may sit all day at work, and blue collar workers may come home from work and sit down to relax. All this sitting weakens the core and puts pressure on the lower back. One must take active steps to prevent this from causing muscle imbalances, lower back pain, and other health problems. With a combination of the following exercises, one can keep a healthy core. Before starting any exercise regimen, make sure to consult your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough for physical activity.
Some exercises you can start with are the Superman, glute bridges, sit ups, bracing, and planking. These five simple movements can be modified to different skill levels, and will help build the strong core necessary for optimal health and to avoid pain. With all the vital organs and key functions that rely on a solid core, you owe it to yourself to spend some time every day developing these muscles.