Having a strong core is not just about how good your abs look. You core includes muscles of the pelvis and trunk as well, and this post will show you why a strong core is important to your overall fitness.
It’s easy to miss the fact that how your core muscles perform affects every other movement in your body. To get a better idea of how important your core is, think of it as a sturdy conduit and root of body motion.
A weak core can lead to:
- Lack of flexibility
- Chronic back pain
- Leg pain
- Hard to get out of chairs and bed
- Bad balance
- Poor posture
Here’s why core strength is so important:
Actions carried out by the body move upward or downward through the core. That means a weak core can inhibit any movement you make, making you less flexible. This has the effect of a loss of power within the body.
However, a strong core enables more powerful movement and flexibility, therefore enhancing stability and balance. And the fact is that many chronic health problems can be eliminated by core strengthening.
Below are 5 ways a strong, flexible core can improve your movement and reduce chronic back and leg pain.
Provides Back Support
Lower back pain affects many people at some point in their life. Weak abdominal muscles mean that there is an imbalance between the front and back of that area of the body. This has the effect of making the lower back do more of the work, leading back pain.
Having a strong core also improves your posture. By doing this you put the body in its least stressful position, relieving pressure on other parts of the body.
Protects Internal Organs
Having a strong core also protects your internal organs and central nervous system. Having a protective layer of strong muscle helps keep your internal organs intact. Furthermore, as well as protecting your lower back, core strengthening also protects your spinal cord by putting less pressure on it.
Strengthening and stretching the core can help aid digestion. If your core is too tight, the body will struggle to digest food. If your organs are decompressed and stretched, it will inhibit the organs the systems in the body that enable digestion.
Improves Mobility and Flexibility
Building a strong core improves general mobility. The average day would see most people bending, twisting, and stretching their body in a variety of ways. Even mundane activities like getting dressed or reaching up to grab something from the kitchen cupboard require an individual to stretch and balance. A core capable of handling this helps avoid undue stress on other parts of the body.
Helps Avoid Injuries
As mentioned above, core strengthening supports and tones other parts of the body. A weak core can lead to imbalances in the body that cause injuries and strains. In particular, people who participate in sports where there are many twists and turns require a strong core or face the risk of frequent injuries, for example, basketball players.
These are just some of the reasons why having a strong core can improve your life and overall health. Just to be extra helpful, here are a couple of simple exercises that almost anyone can do to strengthen their core.
If you’ve spent your life doing things like crunches to flatten your belly and strengthen your core, it may be time to do something different?
The simple fact is that crunches are not only ineffective, they can be unsafe because they depend on spinal flexion. On the other hand building a strong core with planks will eliminate stress on your spinal column.
Not only that, but because planks work your core all the way around your body, they are the perfect solution that will work wonders. They are very effective isometric exercises that increases the stabilization and power of your core, making your entire body strong.