When you think of someone with a strong core, you generally think of someone who does a lot of crunches. While body positivity is the current thing, many people still obsess over having a flat stomach. You don't need a strong core to have a flat stomach. So why is it vital to have a strong core if it doesn't guarantee a flat stomach?
Continue reading to learn more.
What Are Core Muscles?
Credit: Men’s Health
Your core isn't merely your abs, contrary to popular assumption.
These are some of the muscles found in your core:
1) Erector Spinae
This is a muscle that helps you stand up straight by wrapping around your spine.
2) Rector Abdominis
Also commonly referred to as "abs".
These are the muscles on the sides of your torso that help you twist.
4) Gluteal muscles
These are also commonly known as "glutes". These are the muscles that connect your legs to your core.
Benefits of Strengthening Your Core
1) Better Balance and Stability
Core workouts teach your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen muscles to operate together. This improves balance and stability in everyday tasks as well as on the sports field. In fact, strong core muscles are required for most sports and other physical activities. A strong core ensures that you have a better sense of balance throughout your entire body.
2) Better Posture
When all of your core muscles, especially the ones that attach to your spine, are stronger, it's easier to keep yourself upright and maintain proper posture. You tend to slouch and have poor posture when you have weak core muscles.
Bonus? A strong core and improved posture can help you avoid the annoying neck and backache that comes with hunching over your laptop all day.
3) Prevents Injuries
Consider your core to be a solid, secure cylinder that surrounds your spine and important organs. You'd be able to activate and engage that cylinder if your spine and organs were in danger, such as during a hard squat or deadlift if you had a strong core.
Research suggests that core strength may be a factor in preventing injuries. Your spine is in danger of injury if it is not properly supported during movement; the less stable your spine is, the greater the chance of injury.
4) It Makes Day-to-Day Living Easier
All of your movements are built on the foundation of your core. As a result, the stronger your core is, the easier it is to perform common tasks like bending down to pick something up off the ground, standing for lengthy periods of time, or completing household chores. This is why many core workouts fall under the functional fitness umbrella: they can make it easier for you to get through your day, literally making you more functional.
5) Adds Years to Your Life
Do you want to live longer? If so, now is the time to work on developing a strong core. It's never too late to incorporate core workouts into your routine and increase core strength, even if you're in your 40s, 50s, or 60s. Having a strong core allows you to stay active as you age, and exercise benefits older persons just as much, if not more, as it does younger people.
6) It Is Beneficial to Strength Training
Working the muscles throughout your body can help you perform at your best. Strength isn't simply vital in your abdominal muscles. And a strong core prepares you for success with the added strength training. With a strong core, you'll be able to lift heavier weights. To perform with perfect technique, strong lifts necessitate a tremendous deal of stability and core strength.
Best Core Strength Training Exercises
Credit: Women’s Health
This is a must-do core workout. The plank requires you to support your body on your forearms and toes while keeping your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles with little movement. Resting on your knees makes it easier, but extending your arms so you're supported by your hands makes it tougher.
2) Side Plank
While the plank engages the majority of the core muscles, it overlooks a few. Fortunately, a little adjustment fixes the problem. The side plank strengthens your obliques and the quadratus lumborum, a muscle in the posterior abdominal wall that is important for reducing lower back problems.
To do a side plank, lie on your right side with your feet together and your right forearm propped up. Push your hips up so that a straight line runs from your feet to your head, then hold this position for the specified amount of time without allowing your hips to descend. Make sure you do the same thing on the other side.
3) Leg Raises
Leg raises work the lower abs hard while also developing hip and lower back flexibility. Place your legs together and lie flat on your back. Raise your toes till they are pointing at the ceiling, keeping them as straight as possible. Slowly return to the starting position.
This basic workout strengthens your core strength while also improving your balance and coordination. Begin on your hands and knees, with your hands immediately beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Raise your right arm and left leg at the same time, completely extending them in front and behind you. Return them to their original position and repeat with the opposite limbs.
This workout targets both your upper and lower abs at the same time, making it a good choice for anyone looking to define their midriff. Lie down with your legs together and your arms extended behind you on the ground. Raise your legs as high as you can while keeping them together, then meet them with your torso and arms above your head to form a V-shape. If you're having trouble keeping your legs straight and can't raise them all the way up, you can do a modified V-sit by bending at the knees.
6) Leg Lifts
Leg lifts work the lower abs hard while also developing hip and lower back flexibility. Place your legs together and lie flat on your back. Raise your toes till they are pointing at the ceiling, keeping them as straight as possible. Slowly return to the starting position.
Having a strong and flexible core will benefit you in the gym while playing sports and in everyday life. A strong core will also aid in the maintenance of healthy posture and the prevention of issues such as lower back pain.
Core exercises are a must-do for every fitness regimen. They're easy and can be done in the comfort of your home without any equipment. You don't need a gym to grow a six-pack and have ab muscles. Simply eating healthy and having a good workout routine will make significant changes in your body. You will be happier and more confident if you are in better shape.