Benefits of CORE
In the world of fitness & wellness, there is a lot of hype about core strength. However, the benefits of having a strong core are often misunderstood. One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that the term “core” is interchangeable for abs. While the abdominal muscles do make up a significant part of the core, they are not the only important muscles, and focusing only on ab exercises will not yield effective results.
Your core is at the center of your body, hence its name. It encompasses the abdomen, hips, back and chest. The core is made up of 29 pairs of muscles. The abdominal muscles, such as transverse abdominals and your obliques, make up the front. The paraspinal muscles support the spine and are extremely important for core function and strength. The core also includes the diaphragm, the muscles in the pelvic floor, the muscles around the hips, and the gluteal muscles.
Having a strong core is NOT only extremely beneficial to athletes, but for everyone. Here are some of the benefits to having a strong core.
1. Balance and Stability
One of the main benefits of strengthening your core is increased balance and stability. Your core helps to stabilize the spine and pelvis. This means that walking, sitting and standing are all tasks that activate the core. It also helps to keep your spine erect and your hip bones in a neutral position. Since your core makes up the center of your body and encompasses the spinal column, all movements pass through it. A strong core consists of muscles that work together in coordination to stabilize and support your body. Having strong core stabilizers enables you to maximize strength in your arms and legs. Having the ability to isolate and maximize strength in these areas can help an athlete improve their performance.
The core promotes good posture. When your core muscles are strong, they enable you to keep your body upright and prevent slouching. Having good posture can help you survive sitting or standing for long periods of time without experiencing back pain.
3. Injury Prevention
One of the key benefits to improving your core strength is for injury prevention. Having a strong core keeps your body aligned, minimizing the strain on your muscles and joints. The muscles that make up your core act as a shock absorber during activities such as running and jogging, which in turn protects your joints.
To improve your core strength, incorporate exercises that target multiple muscle groups into your daily fitness plan. With the spring and summer months approaching, most people are focused on getting that beach body ready, and often overdo the ab exercises. Isolating only your abdominal muscles can be ineffective, and usually doesn’t produce the desired results, which can be frustrating. Doing exercises that work your whole core is a great way to tone your body while increasing your overall fitness and wellness. Next time you workout, try some of these exercises:
- or take the 30 day CORE CHALLENGE!
CLICK HERE for the March Core Madness Challenge