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The importance of your core: Taking Back Your Posture.

The core is your center of balance. It acts to support your spine and gives strength to the rest of your body when it's in alignment.

The core muscles of your body are not just for looking good in a swimsuit. They’re essential to our physical wellbeing. A weak or unstable core could lead to pain, stiffness, and many other issues. Exercises that target the muscles of the abdomen, back, and hips are essential because they can increase strength, stability, and mobility throughout the torso.

The importance of your core

Side plank can be helpful in improving your core

The core is your center of balance. It acts to support your spine and gives strength to the rest of your body when it’s in alignment. However, it is also required for all ‘whole’ body movements. When it’s weak, you tend to experience pain when you move, stiffness in your back or neck, or any number of other issues. Therefore, it’s essential to strengthen your core muscles by doing exercises that stretch and lengthen them.

When it comes to better posture, there are numerous benefits of a strong core:
  1. A stronger core means better balance and coordination not just for stability and standing upright but also for physical activities such as sports and exercising at the gym.
  2. Stronger abdominal muscles are vital for protecting the lower back from damage or strain caused by heavy lifting, twisting, or even sneezing.
  3. Being stronger here is also important for maintaining good posture, which can help protect you from chronic pain conditions such as arthritis.
  4. Your body will be better able to perform tasks that require a lot of strength and endurance. This can be anything from walking up multiple flights of stairs to shoveling the snow off your driveway in winter.
  5. Building a stronger core will improve your athletic performance, no matter what sport you play or the activity you enjoy doing.

How weakness can lead to pain, stiffness, and many other issues

Lower back pain can be impacted by your core strength

A weak core can lead to a lot of issues. In particular, it’s essential to know that weakness could lead to pain, stiffness, or any other issues. One example of this is lower back pain.

Suppose the muscles in the lower back weaken from getting too tired, heavy lifting, or even sneezing. In that case, it can become compressed and develop muscle spasms, leading to pain when you move.

So for you not to experience these problems, you need to do exercises that strengthen them. You can do simple exercises at home for this purpose that are aimed to work the core muscles.

How does strengthening your core improve your posture?

The core is what protects your lower back from injury.

Strong abdominal and lower back muscles with good posture will not only look better, but it will also feel better. This is because when your core muscles are strong and stretched or ‘long’, they can support the spine, and you’ll be able to stand taller.

This elongated core also has a lot of advantages:

  1. A core that is elongated and in alignment will mean better balance and coordination.
  2. The core is what protects your lower back from injury- heavy lifting, twisting, or sneezing can all cause problems when you have a weak core, but when it’s strong, none of these things should bother you much.
  3. Good posture is essential for keeping chronic pain conditions like arthritis at bay, and when you take care of your core, you are taking care of your posture too.
  4. Strong abdominal muscles improve athletic ability- whether you’re climbing stairs or running long distances, an elongated core will help.
  5. A strong core coupled with strong posterior chain muscles will greatly improve your overall posture
  6. Last but not least, when your core is strong, you simply look better!

What are your core muscles?

The core is made up of the muscles within your pelvis, back, and abdomen. The main muscles are referred to as “abs” or abdominal muscles. These are the most visible muscles and the ones that are worked by crunches, leg lifts, and other exercises to strengthen the stomach. Back muscles are essential as well, and these include the muscles that run along your spine.

Abdominal muscles:

Abdominal muscles
  • Rectus abdominis
  • External oblique
  • Internal oblique
  • Transvers abdominis

Back muscles:

The erector spinae are part of your core muscle group
  • Multifidus
  • Quadratus lumborum
  • Erector spinae

Exercise, core, and your posture

Your core muscles also have important roles in regulating movements of the body. For example, your midsection always acts when lifting something, when standing up, or breathing inhale.

The Pelvic Girdle and the spine act as the control center of your body, allowing the surrounding muscles such as your glutes, the erector spine, and the abdominals to contract.

As a result, many of the best workouts include combinations of all muscle groups simultaneously. This can help you keep your balance which is crucial, especially when seeking to enhance performances.

How to strengthen your core

Bird Dog exercise is good for your core

Many exercises target core muscles, but not all of them work equally well. The following exercises are the best for safely strengthening your core and taking back your posture:

  • Dead Bug
  • Bird Dog
  • Curl-Ups
  • Plank Pose
 

Every core exercise you do should begin with a ‘neutral spine’. Check that your abdominals are long and that your lower back is slightly arched. This neutral core position can be held throughout the exercise, so you know you’re doing it correctly. Each of these core exercises should be done slowly and with a controlled motion- this way, each rep counts!

What are some forms of exercise that can help the core?

Exercises that target the muscles of the abdomen, back, and hips are vital because they can increase strength, stability, and mobility throughout the torso.

There are many different exercises you can do at home. There are also a variety of videos on how to correctly execute them. These types of activities will target the muscles that make up your core.

Traditional crunches aren’t going to do much when it comes to core strength because they’ll mainly target your abdominals.

However, these approaches to fitness and wellbeing can improve your core:

PILATES 

Pilates can assist in improving your core strengthPilates is a form of exercise that engages the entire body, targeting the abdominals and back. It also emphasizes breathing and the alignment of joints and muscle groups to achieve increased core strength.

YOGA

In yoga, your movements will use your entire body, including the arms and legs, to maintain a pose or do a sequence of moves that will target not only your abdominals but also your back muscles.

What are some further benefits?

The plank is an excellent exercise to strengthen the coreA body with a strong core has better balance and stability.

The importance of good balance does not go solely at sports events. It can also apply to everyday tasks such as playing with your family or moving your groceries from the car to the kitchen.

Keep breathing throughout every core activity. A normal tendency is to want to keep holding your breath while exercising your core muscles. Take a few seconds to breathe into your mouth or nose. Keep up steady breathing when exercised. But also, maintaining a healthy weight and healthy muscular tone are crucial factors for building up a strong core.

Conclusion

The core is vital for your posture, and the exercises that target these muscles can help you maintain a strong, pain-free back. A strong body is essential for everyone, even those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Conversely, a weak core can lead to pain and stiffness in your back, as well as many other issues. Thus, supporting the need to include strengthening exercises for your core as part of your daily routine. Activities such as Pilates or Yoga will help you maintain the muscles that make up the core.

PLEASE NOTE

PostureGeek.com does not provide medical advice. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical attention. The information provided should not replace the advice and expertise of an accredited health care provider. Any inquiry into your care and any potential impact on your health and wellbeing should be directed to your health care provider. All information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care or treatment.

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