Having a strong core is vital to essentially all human movement. Whether you’re into cycling, doing yoga, running, walking, rowing, stepping, strength training, or performing bodyweight workouts (and the list goes on), using your core to maintain proper form and positioning will help you avoid injury and make the most of your workouts.
Strengthening your core takes a lot more than sit-ups and crunches. In fact, these classic moves barely scratch the surface of true core strength. Most people think of the core as toned six-pack or nice abs, but the core is much more than just your abdominal muscles. It includes muscles in your abs, obliques, lower back, and hips specifically the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, erector spinae, hip flexors, adductors, abductors, and glutes.
When these muscles work together, they stabilize the spine, pelvis, and shoulders to create a solid base of support for powerful movements! A solid core program will include exercises to work all of the muscles involved in creating this stable base of support to be effective.
Benefits of Having a Strong Core
1. Increase Functional Fitness
Functional training is basically training in a way to improve your everyday movement patterns. For example, a squat will help strengthen muscles in your core and lower body to help you stand out of a chair, an action you do all the time throughout your daily life. Training a squat will help you move through that daily movement with efficiency, intention, and control helping you avoid aches, pains, and unneeded injuries.
Training the core will directly translate to increased functional fitness. A strong core can help correct postural imbalances that can lead to injury. A strong core will help you move better throughout your workouts and throughout the day.
2. Improve Exercise Performance
Powerful, athletic movements always begin with a strong, stable core. The act of engaging your core, and stabilizing your pelvis allows the transfer of power to your extremities (your arms and legs). All powerful movements originate from your core – the more stable your core, the more powerful your arms and legs can contract during movements.
3. Reduce Injury
Finally, with a strong and properly engaged core, you can avoid injuries that can occur if you don’t properly support your spine during exercise. A weak and unbalanced core can lead to lower back pain amongst other injuries. A good starting place to improve your movement is to focus on strengthening your core and correcting your posture.
Best Core Workouts
We have plenty of core workouts you can use to increase your core strength. These workouts are designed to focus on a variety of muscle groups included in your core, to help make your routine more well-rounded and effective! Consider adding these routines into your regular weekly workout plan to start building a stronger core today.