Having a strong core means more than being able to show off your abs on the beach, and powerful muscles connecting your upper and lower halves have lots of benefits beyond attracting the opposite sex. Core muscles are the link between upper and lower body muscles, bones and joints. Because all movement starts at one end of the body and moves through every inch of it, weak core muscles can go so far as to impede proper movement in the arms and legs. Balance and stability also come from having strong muscles in your trunk and that means fewer falls and injuries.
Everything you do on a daily basis uses your core muscles. Whether you’re standing up, sitting down, bending over or playing a sport, the basis for each movement is in your middle. The major core muscles are the transverse abdominis working to stabilize the spine, the internal and external obliques rotating the trunk, gluteus maximus, medius and minimus stabilizing the hips, and the pelvic floor muscles that support organs and control urination. Other groups of core muscles include the rotator cuff helping the shoulder joint, shoulder blade and clavicle work together and the erector spinae which run up the spine on both sides to keep you upright and assist the obliques and transverse abdominals.
Giving your spine and shoulders the support they need means better posture, making you look slimmer and breathe easier. All this sitting up straight also eases the chronic low back pain many people suffer with. Any sport that involves upper body movement is improved by providing increased flexibility and more power to rotate your trunk around your spine. As you work to strengthen your core, you are not only gaining flexibility and decreasing low back pain, you are implementing a completely well rounded fitness program that will ultimately help you reach any fitness goal you set.
There are hundreds of exercises you can practice to increase the strength of your abs, obliques and lower back, and you don’t need a single piece of equipment for most of them. Add a swiss or medicine ball to your fitness equipment stash and open up the door to many more choices.
Want help adding core training to your program or developing a brand new core strength training routine? Ask us! Info@FitNicePT.com