The core muscles are your body’s foundation that gives you a healthy spine and contributes toward movements of your body. If the core is weak, things can get shaky and hamper your very balance and stability. Therefore, it’s important to strengthen your core the right way. In this article, learn about the importance of a strong core and how you can build and support your core for health and fitness. 

What Makes up the Core?

The core is made up of several muscles including the ab muscles on the front, the lower back muscles, and glutes on the back, the diaphragm on the top, and the pelvic floor and hip muscles on the bottom.

It is an important link between your upper body and lower body. Just like the trunk of the tree, your core muscles need to be strong and flexible to generate maximum power for your body.

The function of the Core

The core of your body consists of a compound system of muscles that work together to fulfill two important motives – stabilizing the spine and transfer force.

The core is an agent of stabilizer since the spine alone cannot bear the onus of keeping your body straight and stiff by itself. It is dependent on a set of ligaments and muscles for its support and security.

It also protects the lower back. By stiffening the torso, the core protects your back from excessive motion or injury while carrying out various movements including lifting, moving things or carrying a backpack. Think of the core like a turtle shell that keeps its interior safe and still, in the event of any trouble.

Another key function of the core is that it transfers force to the limbs. Although the limb creates motion, they cannot generate much power without the help of the core. The core acts as a bridge between the upper and lower limbs transmitting the power generated at the hips and lower trunk to the upper or lower limbs.

Why Should You Strengthen Your Core?

The core is much more than your abs, it is your body’s powerhouse that helps you do just about everything. Here are the top reasons why you should work out your core:

Prevent Injuries and Low Back Pain

Typically, it is the core muscles that fire and activates before you are ready to undertake any activity. The nervous system braces for support prior to the activity and if you don’t have the core stability to support it, then other muscles have to make up for it.  As a result, compensating can lead to injury.

Therefore, a weak core is the number one risk for potential injuries including lower back injuries. Research shows that a strong core can help alleviate low back pain that is a very common ailment.

Good Posture and Stability

A strong pore promotes good posture naturally without slouching. A good posture is essential to lessen wear and tear of the spine and allows you to breathe freely. Plus, it dictates your external poise and confidence.

In addition, as you age it gets very difficult to maintain stability. A strong core will improve your balance and make it easier for you.

Improve Sports Performance and Overall Fitness

No matter what sport you play or what fitness goals you have, a strong core will pave the way towards it. As you build a strong core, it will lend the much-needed support to high-end performance. From bending, twisting and moving, it is what helps you get through it all.

How to Strengthen Your Core?

The good news is that strengthening your core doesn’t require specialized equipment or gym memberships. Here are some simple ways:

  1. Planks

The most common exercise to build a strong core is doing planks. It works by targeting the core muscles along with other muscle groups and helps to build overall strength by improving your posture.

First, try the basic forearm plank lying face down with legs extended and elbows bent under the shoulders and then lift your boy by tucking your toes. Ensure that you are in a straight position. Once you master and are able to hold this steadily for at least 30 seconds,  try out different variations to challenge yourself and work your way up.

  1. Yoga

Asanas like boat pose, chair pose, crow pose, dolphin pose and more also help to build a strong core. A strong core is the right route to holding all your yoga poses without any hassles. While you are doing yoga poses for the core be mindful of your breathing and maintain even inhales and exhales.

Additionally, Surya Namaskar or sun salutation Yoga exercise – a compilation of 12 different yoga poses can also be practiced on a regular basis to promote your core strength.

  1. Burpees

If you are looking to strengthening your core without spending hours doing sit-ups and crunches, go for burpees. It is an effective exercise that works your whole body including the core. Studies reveal that doing burpees for 30 seconds is equivalent to a 30-second sprint.

However, it’s important to be in a good health condition as it is a complex exercise that can lead to injury if you are not ready for it. The basic burpee is four-count starting from a standing position- going into a squat with your hands on the ground- kick your feet back placing in a plank position while keeping arms extended- jumping back into a squat – and then finally jump up from the squat position.

As seen, it involves a lot of jumping. So, it’s recommended to start slow and work your way up. Get rests in between each set.

A rock-solid core will lead to a solid body with strong arms and powerful legs. Whether you are a novice or a fitness lover, core exercises should be an essential part of your fitness regimen.


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