Why build a strong core? You’ve inevitably heard a personal trainer or someone in the fitness industry harp on the importance of building strong abdominal muscles. In fact, if you currently work with a trainer, you probably hear cues like, “engage your core” and “keep your core tight” a handful of times every time you workout. Check out this post to get the nitty gritty on WHY building a strong core is essential to a healthy body. It’s the first post in a series all about the core!
Building a strong core isn’t about having six-pack abs. So why is it important?
Your core is your primary support system. Strong abdominal muscles not only improve balance and stability, they also allow the pelvis, hips and lower back to work in harmony. We do dozens of movements everyday that require core stability including getting in and out of bed, standing up, bending to put on your shoes, brushing your hair, and loading the dishwasher. Your abdominals quite literally help you stay upright, whether you’re seated at a desk or walking down the street.
Your core muscles surround and support the spine and pelvis, and are the central link that connect the upper body to the lower body. For this reason, many neck, shoulder, hip, knee, and even foot pain can be traced back to weak abdominal muscles. Having an underdeveloped core impairs how well the rest of our body can function, and we lose power and flexibility in all of the movements mentioned above.
How can having a strong core help us in everyday activities?
Whether you’re lifting weights, taking out the trash, or picking up a heavy box, a strong core will lower the risk of strain on other muscles.
Walking or Running
When you have a well developed core you’ll find you have increased stabilization in the torso, which makes it much easier to walk or run on uneven terrain.
A solid core makes it easier to pull our shoulders back and sit or stand upright. This will take a lot of unwanted pressure off your upper and lower back.
To start strengthening those deep abdominal muscles, begin by doing stabilization exercises like planks, or dead-bugs. Other exercises like squats, farmer’s carries, push ups, and deadlifts are also important to improve abdominal strength, since the core is the main stabilizer and must be actively engaged through the entirety of the movement.
Watch for the next article in our core series where we’ll go into detail about some of the most important core muscles and their function…
Hyatt Training is a collective of certified, enthusiastic and innovative personal trainers in Portland, Oregon. To read more exercise-related posts like this one, follow this link.