The term “core” refers to abdominal and lower back muscles. These specific muscles are responsible for the stabilization of the body and effect overall balance during daily activities.
A weak core opens the gate to orthopedic injuries that may lead to even greater pain down the road. It also lends itself to poor posture and muscle strain. An underworked core can additionally be accompanied by an excess of belly fat which has been linked to other health risks such as developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and other obesity-related problems.
A strong core helps prevent injury during weight bearing movement, prevents lower back pain, and builds overall back strength by keeping the body in a tight position at all times.
How Can You Strengthen Your Core?
- Avoid slouching – the first step in strengthening your core is to fix your posture since slouching sabotages core muscles. Exercising your core daily is not enough to compensate for slouching, so excellent posture is a must.
- Focus exercises on training core muscles. One exercise that strengthens the core is The Side Bridge. Lie on your side on your arm. Contract your core and lift both legs sideways into the air and hold for 45 seconds. Repeat for both sides. Contract core and buttocks muscles as tightly as possible in order to keep the body straight and engage all core muscles.
- Use the single or double leg lowering exercise. Lie on your back and lift legs straight into the air. Lower one or both legs towards the floor and hover a few inches above it for 45 seconds. Repeat for both legs, or lower them both at the same time.