19 Aug Benefits of a Strong Core
When talking about fitness, many people think of abdominal muscles or the “6-pack” when they hear the word core mentioned. The core is made up of several muscles-including muscles of the low back, hip muscles, abdominals, and deep muscles surrounding the spine. Exercisers often seek to get that “6-pack”, however, if the abdominal muscles are over trained and the other supporting muscles are under trained this can often lead to injury and decrease athletic performance.
Think of the muscles of your core as the central link in your body connecting your upper and lower body. Most all movement for activity is originated from the core. Whether you are throwing a bone for your dog to fetch or mopping the floor, the movement starts at the core or moves through it. Core weakness, imbalances, or inflexibility can impair how well your arms and legs move and can sap power from the moves you do make.
A strong core creates balance and stability, thus decreases the risk of falls throughout the day and prevents injuries during sports. From seemingly small activities of bending over to tie your shoes, turning to put clothes in the washer, standing up tall for longer periods of time to more dynamic activities of swinging a bat, swimming, and riding a bike, the core is involved.
Building a strong core helps you to maintain a proper posture and puts less stress on your lower back and spine. Over time stress on the discs of the lower back can cause pain, not only in your back, but pain that radiates down into your legs. Back pain is something 4 out of 5 Americans suffer from. A few exercises to help strengthen and build the muscles of the core are: BRIDGES, STRAIGHT LEG RAISES, EXERCISES ON THE SWISS BALL, PLANKS, SIDE PLANKS, CRUNCHES, SUPERMANS, and BIRD DOGS. These are just a few exercises and there are many more. To get a visual you can Google any of the above exercises for an explanation and how to perform them correctly and safely.
We have combined our two fitness classes and now offer Human Performance Training at 5:15 AM Tuesday through Friday, Tuesday and Thursday nights at 5:30 PM, and Saturday mornings at 9AM. We also offer assistance with sports performance, weight loss, and overall wellness through nutritional supplementation. For more information on the services we offer contact us at Pro Physical Therapy at 662-282-4949.
By Cory Lee, LPTA, RRCA-Certified Running Coach, L-1 Crossfit Coach
Kimberly Lee, Doctor of Physical Therapy, B.S. Exercise Science