Core strengthening is a popular word used in fitness today. But what does core strength really mean and why is it so important? First, you must understand what “core” is referring to. A lot of people believe it refers to their abdominals, as in getting that great “6-pack.” Actually, the core refers to essentially your entire torso, from the shoulder girdle to the pelvic girdle and everything in between.
So, now we can talk about why it’s so important to improve core strength.
- Working on core exercises such as planks can help tighten your abdominals, improve balance, flexibility and back pain. Being in the plank position works so many muscles at one time which allows your entire core to be activated and strengthened.
- Improving core strength can help correct muscle imbalances that lead to postural problems. Correcting posture can help reduce stress and pain, particularly in the upper back and lower back areas.
- Core Strengthening will help improve sports performance by causing improved body mechanics in whatever sport you are participating in. For example, runners will run more efficiently by keeping the runner’s body from fatiguing and slouching into a bad posture while running long distances.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the core acts as a stabilizing force to allow our arms and legs to move without losing balance and coordination.
Now that you understand just a few reasons why it’s important to improve your core strength, you may be asking how do I do that? For the purposes of this article, I will not get into the details of the how. However, there are numerous exercises that can be done to improve core strengthening. I recommend functional training as a way to train because so much of the exercises done in functional training involve the use of your core. Consult your personal trainer for more information on this subject matter.
Anne Millikan, Certified Personal Trainer